The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has dispelled claims by some media and some members of the opposition NDC that she has contradicted Vice President Bawumia on the use of the Ghanacard as a travel document for returning Ghanaians.
At the launch of the ePharmacy platform on Monday, Vice President Bawumia reiterated the multiple benefits of the Ghanacard, including its acceptance as a travel document for Ghanaians returning home, as well as for Diasporan Ghanaians, who can use it to return home without requiring a visa, as they would have been required when travelling back to Ghana on their foreign passports.
Following Dr Bawumia’s comment on Monday, an address by the Foreign Affairs Minister on Tuesday explaining Ghana’s upcoming e-visa, was misconstrued, by what the Foreign Minister describes as “misleading and unfortunate’ headline, which said the Foreign Minister had contradicted the Vice President on the status of the Ghanacard as a travel document.
The Foreign Minister has now hit back, setting the records straight, and corroborating Dr Bawumia’s position on the use of the Ghanacard as a travel document, in a press statement issued on Thursday.
“The Foreign Minister, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey did not contradict the Vice President, His Excellency Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in her address to journalists during the press conference at the Ministry last Tuesday, July 19, 2022 as alleged by the news article, but rather corroborated his position,” said the statement.
It continued: “The address of the Foreign Minister should be placed in the proper perspective, as it was not focused on the use of the Ghana Card, but on e-visas which were being rolled out for non-Ghanaian nationals who apply for visas in Ghana’s Missions abroad to come to Ghana.”
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“The Minister, in her subsequent engagement with the media, confirmed what the Vice President said that Ghanaians living abroad can enter Ghana with Ghana Cards at all points of entry of Ghana.”
The Vice President revealed in November 2021 during a lecture at Ashesi University that processes had been completed for the Ghanacard to be recognised as an international travel document by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) the global body that certifies means of international travel identification.
ICAO, in February 2022, officially announced the Ghana Card as meeting the requirements for an international travel document, which means holders of the card, once Ghana enters into bilateral agreements with individual nations, will be able to use the Ghanacard as a travel document to those countries with electronic visas.
Until that, the GhanaCard can now be used as a travel document by all holders returning to Ghana from airports around the world, and the Ghana Immigration Service, currently has a booth at the Kotoka International Airport, which processes Ghanaian holders of the Ghanacard returning home.