The Strategic Thinkers Network Africa (Stranek-Africa) fears that Ghana’s quest to create a national identification database risks being an exercise in futility.
In the group’s view, the exercise which is being carried out by the National Identification Authority (NIA) will not yield any meaningful results because Ghana is missing one of the most important aspects of the process.
In a statement copied to Myjoyonline.com, the group said “…it is the position of STRANEK-Africa that regardless of the political and financial commitment by the government of Ghana towards the establishment of an extensive, reliable, robust and all-encompassing national identification scheme through the National Identification Authority, if provisions are not made for capturing and registering at birth of all Ghanaians and resident foreigners born in Ghana as well, the ongoing National Identification Registration would be an exercise in futility and a wastage of precious but limited public resources.”
The NIA is undertaking a mass registration exercise to capture the information of Ghanaians onto a National Identity Register, following which a Ghana Card is issued.
The mandatory requirements for the registration are a birth certificate or valid Ghana passport or certificate of citizenship and Ghana Post Digital Address.
Those who did not have the mandatory documents needed a relative issued with the Ghana Card, or two community members issued with the Ghana Card or serving or retired public servants, civil servants, the clergy amongst others to vouch for them to be registered.
But STRANEK-Africa is worried about the focus of the exercise which the group says is largely on people born and living both in Ghana and abroad and foreign or legal or permanent residents in Ghana.
According to the group, little or no attempt has been made at establishing an integrated system that captures at birth and allocates permanent identity numbers to Ghanaians and resident foreign nationals born in Ghana.