Ghana Embassy in Washington DC adopts innovative method to improve on its Consular Service delivery
With only two consulates serving the high consular needs of Ghanaians in the entire United States (New York and Washington DC), the Consular Section of the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC has come up with an innovative way to effectively serve the Ghanaian Community in the entire United States.
Since the start of Covid-19, the two consulates have been accepting online applications for visas without walk-ins. The initiative has proven to be very efficient as the Embassy in Washington DC is able to process over 150 visas in a day.
The current global standard for identification and access control acquisition of new passports, renewal and lost passport applications require the applicant to appear in person for their biometrics to be captured. Once the application is completed online, the applicant is required to schedule an appointment, print the necessary documentation and appear in person for the mandatory biometrics.
With Ghanaians scattered across the 50 States in the United States, the consulate is making every effort to reach out to all compatriots in the various States to capture their biometrics so as to save individuals the trouble of travelling to the Embassy in Washington DC.
At the end of July, staff of the consular section spent 3 days in the field serving Ghanaians in Chicago and its surrounding cities. About 200 people showed up to have their biometrics captured.
Rev. Thomas Tsumasi Agyeman of The Church of Pentecost, Chicago reached out to the Ghanaian Community and mobilized them for this exercise.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Her Excellency Hajia Alima Mahama, undertook a trip to Chicago to monitor the exercise herself and took the opportunity to address various concerns raised by the Ghanaian Community. She also participated in the annual GhanaFest celebration hosted by the Ghana National Council of Chicago which is a celebration of Ghanaian Culture, Music, Art, Food and Fashion, among others.
The Consular staff are scheduled to travel to Tampa, Florida and Worcester, Massachusetts before the end of the year to assist Ghanaians who may be in need of consular services in a similar exercise. This is an effort to reach out to all Ghanaians in the comfort of their States of residences, thereby saving them the traveling time and resources of having to travel to Washington DC.
In another development, the Head of Consular Affairs availed himself to appear on Sankofa Radio, an online radio network in Virginia that broadcasts live in the entire United States. For close to 3 hours, he interacted with the Ghanaian community and addressed all their concerns in relation to consular services at the Embassy.
The Ghana Embassy in Washington DC is committed to bringing the best of services to the Ghanaian Community by giving utmost attention to their concerns in order to improve on its service delivery.
In recent times, efforts have been made to address customer service issues with the engagement of a customer relations officer and the provision of an audio visual material is underway to educate the Ghanaian community in the completion of passport and visa applications online.
Caption: Ambassador Mahama to left in head scarf
Source: Ghana Embassy, DC