Just like our current normal booklet passport, you will need ICAO to approve and capture the data into their Public Key Directory (PKD) for certification before any country can accept it as official travel documents.
Such key ceremony certification as was done on 9th February in the case of the Ghana Card is the ultimate step to take before any national identity card/passport can be used for travelling purposes.
Ghana has crossed this stage with respect to the Ghanacard making it officially certified as having the right qualities to be admissible by receiving countries as e-passport subject to country-to-country bilateral agreements.
Through the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), official communication has gone to all border ports that Ghana as a receiving country is accepting holders of the Ghana Card into Ghana.
The statement by ICAO that Ghana has crossed the major milestone in efforts to provide for more international acceptance of its biometric electronic travel documents is therefore not inconsistent with official communication from the government.
In practical terms, the holder of a Ghanacard will be allowed to board a flight to Ghana (receiving country) from any airport, just as with the normal biometric passport, without the need for a visa.
Also, Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghanacard will not require a visa to travel to Ghana.
Within ECOWAS the Ghanacard can be used to travel to any country. Travelling outside ECOWAS however, will require that you use your normal biometric passport which will contain your visas.
In the not too distant future, we expect that electronic visas will be issued under ICAO 2.0 protocols.
When this starts, electronic visas could be issued on the Ghana Card under bilateral arrangements with other countries.
The author is Economic Advisor and Spokesperson to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.