The Government plans to introduce a 48-page passport to cater for the need of Ghanaians who travel frequently.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchway who made this known at Today’s [Tuesday] Meet the Press Series in Accra said the plan will be executed by the end of the year.
“…There are plans to introduce 48-page passports to satisfy the needs of frequent travellers before the end of this year,” she said.
Current Ghanaian passports have 32 pages.
She also stated that the Ministry has plans to introduce discussions on chip-embedded passports to keep up the pace of technological advancement and enhance the security of Ghanaian passports.
“The Ministry has started discussions aimed at introducing chip-embedded passports to keep up the pace of technological advancement and enhance the security of Ghanaian passports. I believe most applicants will now attest to the improvement in the passport service delivery. We are not there yet but we are making impressive progress,” she said.
Over the past two years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has embarked on a number of initiatives to facilitate the process of passport acquisition for Ghanaians.
The Ministry introduced the online passport application and downloadable Portable Document Format (PDF) Passport Application Form.
The Ministry also extended Passport Application Centers to eight regional capitals, the establishment of the Premium Passport Application Centre, overhauling of passport processing equipment and the extension of the validity of passports from five years to ten years.
Currently, with regard to online applications, Accra Passport Application Center (PAC) processes two hundred and fifty (250) applications daily while the Premium PAC processes four hundred (400) applications daily on the average.
Tema and Koforidua process about two hundred (200) applications per day.
The intention is to roll out the online passport application platform in all the regional PACs.
The ultimate plan is to phase out the manual forms by the end of 2019.