It has always been the norm where Ghanaians are been identified locally by their Voters’ Identity Cards, Driving license and rarely by their passports which makes it very difficult to know the identity or the nationality of a minor citizen of Ghana who does not speak either of the Ghanaian languages and also has none of his/her parents around to defend his/her citizenship orally. Protecting our citizenship in our motherland and beyond should be a prime issue for us Ghanaians.
As a nation, how do we simply identify our fellow Ghanaian who by religious reasons does not register with the Electoral Commission (E.C) to exercise his/her franchise during election time, does not take driving as a profession in order to apply for Driving License at the Drivers’ and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and also didn’t honor an invitation for a visit outside the borders of Ghana to have held passport? This should deserve our answers.
However, giving away or sharing our SIM cards with another person can result in unwanted consequences due to misconduct or misuse associated with the mobile phone number. It is high time we made our mobile phone numbers the true extension of our individual identities in order to enhance actus-reus-free telephone usage. In some cases, grassroots mobile phone SIM sales persons do register SIMs with unknown codes and names but due to the non existence of a solid and accessible National Central Database to serve as a point of on-time personal identity verification and authentication, such practices always emerge successful.
Our financial institutions have suffered enough as a result of Customers’ Identity Forgery. The financial market needs a reliable and secured source to verify its clients’ identity electronically and biometrically particularly before every transaction other than laminated paper or EZWICH payment system (Thumbs up, GhIPSS).
These and several other issues express the ultimate need and establishment of the GHANA IDENTITY AUTHORITY (G.I.A). The Authority will play a pivotal role in National Development and economic growth via integrating, managing and authenticating personal identities of citizens and residents of Ghana at a highest security standard.
The Authority will be tasked by managing a secured centralized national database and biometric smart identity cards, thereby, linking all the Government, Semi-Government and authorized private institutions and departments to unanimously work towards national growth, security, peace and stability.
The population register for both citizens and residents in Ghana could easily be accessible by appropriate ministries and agencies to help create a primal source for decision making both at the strategic and low levels to enhance fair resources allocation for economic growth and security.
The duties of Ghana Identity Authority will uniquely empower both the Government and non-Governmental sectors to function effectively, few of such sectors include;
• Birth and Death Registry – Electronic registration of new born babies at birth and electronic notification of deceased persons into the central database via correspondence at the various CHPS compounds, clinics, hospitals across Ghana towards continuous and accurate strategic planning by Government.
• Ministry of Employment and Labour – accurate number of students, graduates and professionals churning out from various Institutions would be ascertained in order for the Ministry in conjunction with other stakeholders to put down fulfilling measures to reduce unemployment rate.
• Ghana Statistical Services – the duties of statistical service will be enhanced to make precise recommendations to Government of Ghana according to their usual facts and figures.
• Controller and Accountant General’s Department – the issue of “Ghost names” would be reduced and if possible eradicated.
• Health services, financial market, insurance, Educational institutions, DVLA, Electoral Commission, Court of Justice, Registrar General’s Department, interior and foreign affairs ministries and many among others would all have numerous significant benefits from the GHANA IDENTITY AUTHORITY.
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE SMART IDENTITY CARD INCLUDE;
• ELECTRONIC CHIP – To contain readable/writable/updatable detailed personal information, biometric features of holder, and to provide electronic identity authentication at a highest security standard.
• PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER – the combination of numbers to uniquely identify the holder. Holders might carry that number for life or might be subjected to periodic change.
• BRIEF PERSONAL DATA – concise card holder’s information to be inscribed on the card for visibility and identification purposes.
Ghana Identity Authority (G.I.A) has a key role in national development so let us join hands to make it a dream come through to help protect our citizenship, put an end to forgery and also position Ghana our motherland at her rightful stead.
DETAILED ROADMAP AS TO HOW THE FACILITY WILL OPERATE TO BE PUBLISHED SOON.
GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA!!!
By: Dadzie, Rufus Abdela