07.07.2006 Social News

Ghana To Issue ECOWAS Passport Next Year

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Ghana would issue a novel security enhanced ECOWAS passport by the beginning of next year. The ECOWAS passport would be used concurrently with the existing national passport.

The effective production of the ECOWAS passport makes Ghana join Senegal and Mali as the only countries, which have so far put ECOWAS passport in circulation.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD, announced the issue of the ECOWAS passport on the floor of Parliament on Thursday.

He was answering a question posed by Mr John Dramani Mahama, Minority Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, on the position of Government in respect of the issuance of new Ghanaian passports, considering the fact that some ECOWAS countries had started issuing ECOWAS passports.

"The issue of ECOWAS passports was in pursuance to the relevant ECOWAS treaties and protocols", he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo said it was the intention of the Government to provide a new generation of national passports with enhanced security features to meet the required international standards.

He said the new passport would significantly reduce the problems of fraud, duplication and associated malpractices, which had affected the issue and circulation of the current passport.

"The new biometric passport which has these enhanced security features should be in circulation from the beginning of the new year", Nana Akuffo-Addo said.

He added that the new passport would operate along similar lines of the National Identification Scheme.
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