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Ghana to Introduce Chip-embedded e-passports in Six Months, Says Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister

Announced sometime in October 2022, the migration to chip-embedded e-passports will grant officials more room to track any illegalities with passport acquisition.

Ghana will roll out chip-embedded passports six months from now, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong has said.

Announced sometime in October 2022, the migration to chip-embedded e-passports will grant officials more room to track any illegalities with passport acquisition.

Ghana already has been operating a biometric passport feature since 2010, which allowed enough security features to track such illegalities. But authorities say the upgrade to chip-embedded e-passports is a crucial requirement set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN agency overseeing civil aviation.

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“It is good (biometric) but it has limitations. The chip-embedded passport has more security features and therefore it will reduce the ‘non-Ghanaians’, so to speak who are able to get our passports and it will be linked directly to the national identification system,” Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayokor Botchway said two years ago when the announcement was made.

According to Deputy Minister, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpon, once the e-passports are introduced, the current biometric passports will be phased out after some time.

“When we bring in the chip embedded, both passports can be used for a period of about a minimum of one year or more. So still you have the biometric, you can use it until a year and a half or about two years’ time,” he said in an interview with Joy News.

The e-passports are also projected to cost more. But with recent public opposition to passport fee hikes, it remains to be seen how the government will deal with the hurdles.

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