Electronic identity cards are a booming technology, especially in emerging markets like Africa.
Recently, Ghana has launched its own eID initiative. The Ghanaian government has ambitious goals - within 12 months a total of 16 million eID cards (referred to as “GhanaCards”) shall be issued to all citizens of the country over 5 years of age. The first GhanaCard was issued to the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on September 15, 2017.
The GhanaCard is a multi-application document. In addition to identity verification, it offers password replacement on the internet, payment, and digital signatures. It also will serve as a biometric travel document that will allow GhanaCard holders to travel freely within certain African countries. Thus, the GhanaCard will surpass the German electronic identity card (Personalausweis) in some ways, for instance the German eID card is not suitable for payments. The cards will be issued at hundred locations throughout the country, as the card issuance progresses through the country’s 10 different administrative regions. To ensure the security of the eID card and the related systems the Ghanaian government is deploying a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
“This PKI is designed for 16 million certificate holders”, says cryptovision CEO Markus Hoffmeister. “By incorporating several certification authorities (CAs) and multiple certificates on each card, the GhanaCard PKI even ranks among the most advanced certificate management systems worldwide.”
cryptovision is one of Ghana's most important eID technology suppliers - after having delivered important components for a similar eID project in Africa’s largest country, Nigeria. cryptovision not only provides the software running on the GhanaCards (ePasslet Suite) and the PKI software (CAmelot), but also delivers the software for the card issuance terminals (SCalibur). In addition, critical components are protected with the cryptovision smart card middleware, sc/interface.