Foreign Affairs Minister-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has indicated the country’s preparedness to start issuing chip-embedded passports by June 2021.

She said this in response to a question posed by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu when she appeared before the vetting committee on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

“Indeed a lot of countries have migrated to chip-embedded [passports]. Our processes are almost at the tail end. And I can assure the House and the country that by mid-2021, which is this year, we will also migrate to chip-embedded,” she answered.

“We will introduce chip-embedded passports to keep up with technological advancement and enhance the security of Ghanaian passports and implement the project to issue Machine-Readable Visa Stickers,” she added.

This initiative is part of the Foreign Affairs and the government’s promise to introduce chip-embedded passports in order to keep up the pace of technological advancement and enhance the security of the Ghanaian passport.

A chip-embedded passport also known as a biometric passport is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.

It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or center page, of the passport.

Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, however, added that its implementation will be a little challenging because of the Coronavirus pandemic which has threatened to shift economic and diplomatic alliances as well as geopolitics.