The Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said all is set for the historic issuance of national identification numbers, better known as Ghana Card numbers, to newborn babies in Ghana.
This follows the successful integration of the databases of the Births and Deaths Registry, the National Identification Authority and the Ghana Health Service.
Bawumia said the first number was issued to a newborn baby on Friday (21 July) after a successful test run of the system.
“The work of integrating the databases has been completed,” the vice president said on Saturday. “The full test was done yesterday, and I am happy to say that the first Ghana Card number for a baby was issued yesterday.”
“So, from next month, all babies born in Ghana, once they take them to weigh in, they will be issued the Ghana Card number and also get their Birth Certificate Identification number at the same time, because the two databases are talking to each other.
“This is very transformational,” Bawumia said, explaining that they will have these numbers from the time they are babies till they pass away.
Officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) say cards bearing the biometrics and other data will be issued to the children when they are older, after their digits and other features are fully formed.
Speaking in Cape Coast at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Ghana National College, Bawumia said that the issuance of ID numbers at birth was an integral part of the government’s ongoing digitalisation agenda, designed to prepare the nation to fully partake in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Ghana Card is increasingly becoming the single source of proof of identity, with the unique number serving several purposes including as the Social Security, Health Insurance and Tax Identification number.
Ghana National College
Hailing the impact Ghana National College has had on Ghana’s pre-and post colonial life, Vice President Bawumia challenged managements, staff and students in educational institutions to embrace the possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve teaching, problem solving and critical thinking, noting that it could be deployed meaningfully to bridge the gap between the developed and developing world.
“If we are in agreement that the boys and girls in our schools today are being trained to compete on the global stage, there is every justification for our students to be given exposure to AI.
“Government’s ongoing digitalization agenda is ample testimony of its appreciation of AI and the commitment to ensure that this country is not left behind. We have focused on pursuing digitalisation as part of our economic strategy because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and we must be part of the modern world…
“Whilst Government will do its part by leading the charting of a pathway to the deployment of meaningful AI in our national life, I expect our educational authorities to devise and deploy innovative teaching strategies that factor in ICT as a key ingredient,” he added.