These Are Africa's Most Powerful Passports

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 09:45 AM

The Seychelles has the most powerful passport in Africa, followed by Mauritius and South Africa, according to the Henley Passport Index 2024. This index ranks passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

As Statista's Anna Fleck shows in the following chart, citizens from Seychelles can travel to 156 destinations without a visa organized beforehand. In a global comparison, the country ranks 26th, joint with St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean as well as Uruguay in South America. Mauritius ranks 29th globally alongside Trinidad and Tobago and has access to 151 countries without a prior visa, while South Africa ranks 53rd alongside Qatar with access to 108 countries.

Infographic: Africa's Most Powerful Passports | Statista

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The writers of the report highlight how the strength of a country’s passport directly impacts the economic mobility of citizens and their ability to travel internationally without being hampered by lengthy visa applications, possible rejections, and long passport control queues. They write:

Only two African passports ­- Mauritius and Seychelles - enable their holders to access more than 50 percent of global GDP without having to obtain a visa in advance, despite the fact that the continent boasts some of the most open nations in the world on the Henley Openness Index when it comes to providing visa-free access to other countries.”

This is important, Chidinma Okebalama, Senior Consultant at Henley & Partners Nigeria, explains, because a passport serves as a “determinant of financial freedom, impacting individuals’ abilities to explore international business ventures, network efficiently, or engage in multi-national trade opportunities. Consequently, African entrepreneurs and investors are often left out of lucrative global markets, impeding their potential for economic growth and financial prosperity.”

The countries currently tying in top place worldwide for having the strongest passport are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain, each giving their citizens access to 194 countries visa-free. Of the countries analyzed, Afghanistan ranks in last place with its citizens permitted to enter just 28 destinations without a prior visa.