Africa’s most powerful passports revealed

As the world becomes more interconnected and the need for travel increases, passport holders of some countries have it easier than others when it comes to visa-free travel.

Citizens of Seychelles have the most travel freedom in Africa while Somalia holds a record of being the least powerful passport, that is according to the latest ranking by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index.

The passport rankings were made with respect to the number of countries passport-holders can visit without a visa.

On the African continent, it is infamously difficult for African passport holders, citizens of the Seychelles have visa-free access to 137 countries in the world.


Seychelles, a top tourist destination, allows visitors from any country to cross its borders without a visa.

The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean offers visa-free access to those visiting for tourism or business. In return, its own passport-holders have a level of visa-free access close to that enjoyed by citizens of the EU nations of Croatia and Romania.

Similarly, citizens from the tourism hot-spot of Mauritius have a high level of travel freedom, with visa-free access to 131 countries.

This is ahead of many Caribbean islands, Latin American countries and non-EU European nations like Serbia and Moldova.

South Africans have visa-free access to 98 countries. Between 2007 and 2009 South Africa was consistently the best placed African nation, before being overtaken by the Seychelles and Mauritius in 2010.


Ghana took the biggest tumble in this year’s rankings, losing visa-free access to four countries between 2016 and 2017, down to 59 countries from 63 last year.

However, citizens of the West African nation, which is ranked joint 12th in the region, are still faring well compared with passport holders from Zimbabwe, in 30th place.

Out of the African nations, Kenya made the most progress in this year’s index, securing visa-free access to a further two countries during 2016.


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