The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has reiterated its commitment to continue to enhance its service delivery in the areas of passport acquisition and consular services for the benefit of Ghanaian nationals. This was made known by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong when he addressed a Press Briefing in Accra on 28th November, 2023 to provide updates on consular and passport services.
Hon. Ampratwum-Sarpong announced that the Ministry had acquired two (2) printers, which are currently in use and have immensely contributed to the clearing of the backlog of passport applications. He added that as of Friday 24th November, 2023, the Passport Office had printed a backlog of about 310,513 passports, which have been dispatched to the various Passport Application Centres.
On other strategic initiatives to improve customer experience, he indicated that Client Service Units have been established at all the Passport Application Centres (PACs) and this has enhanced communication in addressing concerns promptly and tailoring support to individual cases for a more user-friendly and responsive passport service delivery. This is part of other sweeping measures to enhance passport service delivery.
On issues concerning consular services, Hon. Ampratwum-Sarpong noted that the Ministry in collaboration with its Missions in Cairo and Addis Ababa successfully facilitated the evacuation of 85 Ghanaian nationals from Sudan this year. He took the opportunity to advise the Ghanaian travelling public to contact the Ghana Missions abroad when they travel and register with them, and this he added would help in identifying them in emergency situations to enable the Missions to extend the needed assistance. He hinted that consideration was being given by relevant stakeholders on the creation of a Consular Assistance Fund to support the Ministry’s evacuation exercises in the future.
He further announced that the country will commence the issuance of chip-embedded passports by the second quarter of next year in compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He also announced that the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service had successfully completed the installation of machine-readable visa hardware, rolled out machine-readable visas at thirteen (13) of Ghana’s Missions abroad, and was in the process of extending the service to five additional Ghana Missions.