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Ghana opens new visa and passport application centre in London

BY: Dickson Dotse
FROM LEFT: Nana Owusu Sekyere, Twafuorhene of UK & Ireland, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana High Commissioner to UK and Republic of Ireland,  Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and MP for Mampong, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Nidal Kamouni, CEO, Access Group, Nana Amonoo Gyamfuah Debrah, Asantefuohemaa of UK & Ireland, cutting the cake to officially open the centre
FROM LEFT: Nana Owusu Sekyere, Twafuorhene of UK & Ireland, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana High Commissioner to UK and Republic of Ireland, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and MP for Mampong, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Nidal Kamouni, CEO, Access Group, Nana Amonoo Gyamfuah Debrah, Asantefuohemaa of UK & Ireland, cutting the cake to officially open the centre

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has inaugurated a new Ghana Visa and Passport Application Center in London in the United Kingdom.

Known as the ‘Premium Application Centre’, it is to provide innovative and convenient consular services to Ghanaian citizens and visitors to Ghana while complementing the existing consular services provided by the mission.

Inaugurated last Tuesday, the new centre forms part of the long-term objectives of the government to improve consular services both at home and abroad.

It will also provide an avenue for efficient and comprehensive process for faster passport and visa application and acquisition all in one place.

Significance

Speaking at the grand opening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, reiterated the resolve of the ministry to further improve its service delivery.


“This milestone event marks another achievement in the determination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to provide quality service delivery at home and its missions abroad. The opening of this PAC, the first to be established, is a testimony to the progress we have made in recent years,” she said.

She added that every applicant could expect expedited frontline consular services for passport, visa, and travel certificate applications.

Ms Botchwey further emphasised that the final determination of applications would be done by the consular section of the Ghana High Commission – so the PAC was for frontline services only.

“I, therefore, call on Ghanaians and the public to take advantage of this PAC. As the ministry opens such facilities in several Ghanaian missions in the coming years, we will draw lessons from the successes and shortcomings of the London PAC – I hope for more successes than shortcomings”, she said.

Relief

The country’s High Commissioner to UK and Ireland, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, in his address, encouraged all Ghanaians in the UK to patronise the services of PAC.

The High Commissioner noted that the establishment of PAC came as a relief to the mission as it provided an alternative for anyone who wanted to apply for visas and passports.

“I hope that we’ll cooperate so that this becomes a success and demonstrates the way Ghana is improving its consular services globally,” he added.

Management

The CEO of Access Group, the company responsible for managing PAC, Mr Nidal Kamouni, in his remarks said the company’s presence would offload some of the volumes of the High Commission by ensuring that all citizens and visitors to Ghana have the best experience when it came to applying for their passports and visas.

He added that the collaboration would help all applicants in a timely manner, providing faster processing service which would allow the diplomatic missions to focus on the decision-making part of issuance.