Ghana mass registration for digital national identification ongoing

19 May 2019

The National Identification Authority of Ghana began a mass registration programme at the end of April 2019. The programme is currently ongoing in the Greater Accra region and is scheduled to run till June 2019.

Ghana introduced electronic chip based national identification known as Ghana Card in 2017. For registration, Ghanaians present documents such as birth certificates, driving licences and passports. Their biometric features such as fingerprints and face are captured, and they are later issued with the card. The Ghana card is envisaged to be the primary registration document and it is mandatory for government and private services such as passport application, opening of bank accounts, property registration and education certificates.

Ghana captures biometrics of children from the age of six. Children from the age of 15 receive Ghana card. Previous mass registration exercises have involved enrolment of learners.

The current exercise has faced challenges from inefficiencies in registration processes, night registrations and partial registrations. Opposition politicians have also decried the exclusion of voters cards as registration documents. They said that would give unfair advantage to government strongholds in the upcoming 2020 elections.

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Broadly speaking, digital signatures are linked to the authentication of individuals on the Internet, which affects many aspects, including jurisdiction, cybercrime, and e-commerce. The use of digital signatures should contribute to building trust on the Internet.


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