18.07.2020 Feature Article

Identity In The Ghanaian Birth Certificate — Prof. John Gatsi

Identity In The Ghanaian Birth Certificate — Prof. John Gatsi
LISTEN JUL 18, 2020

Since 1965, when an Act of parliament was enacted to regulate the registration of births and deaths in Ghana, it was very clear that a birth certificate gives citizenship and nationality identity.

For the avoidance of doubt, identity does not mean photographs, it may at best be described as facial identity.

Identity is a common expression by sociologists and anthropologists and there is no difficulty as to what they mean. Cultural identity for example does not mean pictures of a particular culture, at best pictures, will pass for one of the features of “identity“.

Identity includes name, place of birth, ethnicity, parents, nationality, place of birth and hometown. We can add pictures as an enhancement of identity but a picture cannot be an embodiment of “identity“.

In issuing legal certificates by the Ghana School of Law, the bearer's hometown is written boldly on the certificate. I believe that gives a unique identity.

Also, an identity of a person must be certified by a person clothed with authority to do so. That is why every birth certificate is certified by the Registrar of Births and Deaths in each office.

Birth certificate therefore gives conclusive evidence of the identity and citizenship of the bearer.

Now think about the requirement of Article 62 of the 1992 Constitution that "a person shall not be qualified for election as the President of Ghana unless - (a) he is a citizen of Ghana by birth".

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