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General News of Saturday, 16 September 2017


Only the 'GhanaCard' will confirm your identity as Ghanaian – Prof Ken Attafuah

The new National Identification Card that was launched by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday, September 15 will be the only card to prove one's identity as a Ghanaian, the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah has said.

He said this while giving a detailed explanation of the features of the new card “GhanaCard”. According to him, the project marked a significant milestone in the country’s search for a reliable national identification system that would give Ghanaians the regular benefit of a secured national identity, a formalized economy and a system of social inclusion and responsibility.

“I must say by law if you must prove your identity, it is only the GhanaCard that you can use to prove identity. Within a year from now when every Ghanaian in Ghana and every Ghanaian abroad has been given the opportunity to register for the GhanaCard in the first instance for free and you fail to do that, you would not be able to access certain services, facilities and opportunities that are customarily available to the public”, he said.

He further explained that the card has all the international recognition and requirements needed to travel within the West African sub-region without the necessity of a paper passport.

Registration for the ID will start in November 2017 and end in November 2018.

Features of GhanaCard

The card bears personal information about the individuals whose identity can be verified at all times. The NIA National Identity System utilizes three types of biometric technology for identification purposes. These are the fingerprints unique to each individual in the form of digitized templates, facial templates in the form of a digitized colour photo of the cardholder and Iris.

The NIA deploys cutting-edge technology that incorporates several layers of security features – physical, logical and technical – that could make the card difficult to forge and protect the personal information stored on the card. These features allow only authorized persons to read the information and bonafide owners to use the card for purposes of identification.

The card contains basic identification information including a photograph of the cardholder, along with a name, date of birth, height, a personal identification number that has been randomly generated and assigned to the holder and has an expiry date. Depending on the age of the individual, the card will have either a 2-dimensional barcode or a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) at the back which holds biometric information: the holder’s fingerprint in digitized templates as well as the holder’s signature.

Both citizens and non-citizens have the same ID card. The only distinguishing feature on the cards is the country code in the Personal Identification Number (PIN) i.e. the PIN for Ghanaians start with the code “GHA” followed by ten digits “GHA-000000000-0 whilst that for Nigerians for example will read “NRG-000000000-0” per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) country codes and foreigners card has NON-CITIZEN in bold red on the front of the card.

GhanaCard also has features of an eID

Electronic Identity Document (eID) – Your electronic identity as a citizen or foreigner is on the smart card chip. The smart card present in the new National ID will be dual interface – contact and contactless. Electronic identity documents can be used for many applications including:

1. Proof of identity on the internet

2. Automated age verification

3. Digital signatures

4. Encryption

5. Physical and logical access

6. Digital payments

7. Storing health insurance information

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