Dr Gideon Boako, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s spokesperson, insists that the activity that led to the certification ceremony at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal, Canada on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, to have Ghana’s National Identity card, the Ghana Card, captured in the Organization’s Public Key Directory (PKD) was the final step to accept the card as a travelling document.
In a tweet in response to ICAO’s suggestion that it does not decide which travel documents a member state accepts, Dr. Boako stated that anyone with a Ghana Card can fly into the country from anywhere in the world, just like a regular passport holder.
Find below Dr Boako’s response:
Gideon Boako, Ph.D writes
Ignore the wrong interpretation of ICAO’s statement, Ghanacard is valid for travel as e-passport.
Just like our current normal booklet passport you will need ICAO to approve and capture the data into their Public Key Directory (PKD) for certification before any country can accept it as official travel documents. Such key ceremony certification as was done on 9th February in the case of the Ghanacard is the ultimate step to take before any national identity card/passport can be used for travelling purposes. Ghana has crossed this stage with respect to the Ghanacard making it officially certified as having the right qualities to be admissible by receiving countries as e-passport subject to country-to-country bilateral agreements.
Through the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), official communication has gone to all border ports that Ghana as a receiving country is accepting holders of the Ghana card into Ghana. The statement by ICAO that Ghana has crossed the major milestone in efforts to provide for more international acceptance of its biometric electronic travel documents is therefore not inconsistent with official communication from government. In practical terms, the holder of a Ghanacard will be allowed to board a flight to Ghana (receiving country) from any airport, just as with the normal biometric passport, without the need for a visa. Also, Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghanacard will not require a visa to travel to Ghana. Within ECOWAS the Ghanacard can be used to travel to any country. Travelling outside ECOWAS however, will require that you use your normal biometric passport which will contain your visas. In the not too distant future, we expect that electronic visas will be issued under ICAO 2.0 protocols. When this starts, electronic visas could be issued on the Ghanacard under bilateral arrangements with other countries”.
It will be recalled that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has earlier described as “incorrect” media reports that it has agreed that the Ghana’s National Identity card, the Ghana Card, is equivalent to an electronic passport.
ICAO clarified that decision can only be made by Ghana’s government as “it is the sovereign right of each individual state to decide upon its entry and exit requirements and the documents that need to be presented by those travelling to and/or from its territory”.
In a Twitter thread on Friday, February 11, 2022, the United Nations specialized agency for civil aviation emphasized that it is not its role to certify the use of a member’s ID card for international travel in place of a passport.
“Any decision to accept such alternative travel identity document is made by the receiving state itself”, ICAO tweeted.
Source: Richard Mensah Adonu | Join our Telegram Group