Starting November 20, 2017, the National Identification Authority (NIA) will start issuing the new smart IDs to the general public.
The new IDs called “Ghana Card” will be the primary form of ID for all Ghanaian citizens and will enable them to access various services in the country as well as help with travel across West Africa. The Ghana Card will eventually become the only valid ID for citizens when they apply for bank accounts, passports, drivers licenses and other services.
The official registration will begin in the Greater Accra region and move to other regions in the country.
The Ghana Card
The Ghana Card is a specialized card which has some interesting technology embedded in it. On the front face of the card is a photo where a micro-holographic reflecting stamp is placed. The back of the card has a machine-readable zone.
The card houses a microchip, which stores biometric data such as fingerprints of the holder, the image and signature of a citizen. With the use of RFID technology, data can be extracted from the chip.
The Ghana Card can be used for national travel across ECOWAS countries including Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Benin. The validity of the card is 10 years and is compulsory for citizens over 16.
Features Of The Ghana Card
On the front of the card, it bears the name of the citizen, and other bio information including their gender, date of birth and height (in meters). It also has the card’s expiry date as well as the Personal ID number (PIN)
At the back of the card is the cardholder’s signature, a tracking number and a contactless symbol which signifies that the card can be used with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology devices.
When Will You Receive Your Ghana Card?
The Ghana card will be issued for free to all Ghanaians when they apply and will receive it in person after 15 days. The ID card can be requested at districts. Fingerprints and pictures will be captured during registration and that information will be used to verify users when they come to claim their cards.
Benefits Of The Ghana Card
The Ghana Card has lots of benefits for citizens. It will eventually become the primary form of identification for Ghanaians and will be used in everyday life such as Passport Acquisition, Driver’s License, Electoral Registration, Travelling to ECOWAS countries, SIM Card Registration and many other use cases. Eventually, citizens will be able to use it for payments and purchases, most likely to pay for bus fares and other use cases.
This is all interesting technology placed in a small plastic card and we all hope that this is the start of something great. This new Ghana Card has been a long time coming and will leverage technology for citizens to make their lives easier.
If this works as advertised, then it’s all kudos to the government for implementing this.
Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana.
I’m also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!)
Email: [email protected]