In the wake of the announcement and launch of the Digital Address System dubbed GhanaPost, we were reminded of another system that is to be implemented soon. The GhanaCard – It is to be the national identification card for all citizens.
In September, at a ceremony to outdoor the ID Card, President Nana Akufo-Addo became the first recipient of the new national ID card to signal the start of a massive registration process to capture the biometric data of more than 27million Ghanaians and is seen as an important jigsaw in the puzzle to formalise the economy.
The new Ghana card, he said, would end all need for biometric identification and registration by other public and private companies, churches and institutions. “Ultimately, the Ghana ID cards will replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation and shall be the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required by law,”
He argued that it is better to keep sensitive digital data with the NIA than allowing other institutions to do same. “Assigning the collection and custody of biometric traits to a single institution is safer and in line with current trends”. He touted the benefits of the Ghana card explaining other stakeholders can run their applications on the Ghana card. It also has 14 international features and can be used as a pass to other ECOWAS countries, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has said. The President said the card is a plus for the Births and Deaths Registry because new born babies will also be issued with the card as part of a plan to “sanitise birth registration and ensure social inclusion right from birth”.
The NIA CEO, Prof. Ken Attafuah said a massive registration exercise across the country will begin in November. Unlike the previous attempt, citizens home and abroad will be issued the card instantly. The NIA has up to November 2018 to finish the project.
Even though we are really grateful that the nation is finally receiving positive news when it comes to the launching of the ID card, it feels like yet another card we have to have find space for in our purses and wallet.
What is the eventual plan?
If it is to be the only official form of ID and will “replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation” what happens to other cards. Will the information from the other cards be transferred to the new GhanaCard and those rendered obsolete so they can be thrown away? Will this process take another three years to complete.
Hopefully as the ID card is rolled out and put into effect more details about the future of the Card and other cards rendered useless will issued to the public.