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Top 10 African countries with the most powerful passports in the world in 2023

Most Powerful African Passports
  • Business Insider presents the top 10 most powerful African passports in the world in 2023.
  • This list represents countries with the easiest access to international travel.
  • The list is courtesy of the global citizenship and residence advisory company Henley & Partners. 

As disproportionate as it may seem, a person’s freedom of international travel is largely dependent on the passport they own.

As a result, citizens in some regions find it easier than others to travel anywhere they please, owing to the strength of their international passports.

The value of passports globally differs, so much so that almost every single passport in the world has a different statistical value.

The global citizenship and residence advisory company Henley & Partners are well aware of this fact and have for the past 18 years delivered the Henley Passport Index, a one of a kind passport ranking based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).

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As the company notes, the index covers 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. It is updated quarterly, and is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum.

This year, the company has released the first of its passport index with the inclusion of 109 regions. Japan has the most powerful passport, as it allows its wielders visa-free access to 193 countries. The countries that followed include Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Spain.

42 of the 109 regions are African with Seychelles having the most powerful passport on the continent.

According to Henley & Partners the index is derived using a carefully laid out methodology. This methodology according to the company is as follows; for each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport.

A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place. Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned.

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A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free’. The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1), under the conditions defined above.

Below are ten of the top African passports based on the metric system above.

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