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Top 7 Africa’s most powerful passports

While all passports around the world may roughly be the same size at 125 mm × 88 mm – its power ultimately boils down to whether or not you need a visa to visit certain countries or not. Seychelles is the African country whose citizens have the most freedom to visit other countries around the globe, while Eritrean passport holders have the hardest time travelling.
A new infographic, designed by Rosie Spinks for GOOD magazine, ranks countries according to the number of places their passports can enter either without a visa, or with a visa on arrival.
The research shows that passport holders from Seychelles can visit 126 countries without having to apply for a visa. Mauritius, South Africa and Botswana are the African countries ranked in second, third and fourth places respectively. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, features in joint 33rd position.
Globally, passports from Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the most powerful, allowing citizens easy access to 173 countries. Afghanistan is the lowest ranked country.
Strict visa requirements between African countries have been blamed for holding back economic growth. “Africa is one of the regions in the world with the highest visa requirements. Visa restrictions imply missed economic opportunities for intra-regional trade and for the local service economy such as tourism, cross-country medical services or education”, said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, during a conference last year.
Note: The original infographic doesn’t include Liberia or Somalia, and both the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo are referred to as “Congo

1. Seychelles- No visa required in 129 Countries

Seychellois passport holders can visit more countries in the world than Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya or Nigeria without the need to apply for a visa beforehand.

An infographic published by GOOD Magazine, which ranked countries according to the number of countries their passports can enter either without a visa, or with a visa on arrival, reveals that Seychelles passportholders have access to 126 countries, making it the African passport with the best access to the world, sitting in 28th position worldwide.

2. Mauritius – No Visa Required in 125 Countries

More than a SIMPLE grant of access to country, passports and the visas stamped on them are a reflection of geopolitics – the relationship between two nations and a country’s stature relative to the rest of the world.

An infographic recently released by Good Magazine ranking the most powerful passports in the world has listed the Mauritian passport – which grants access without a visa or by receiving one upon entry to 123 countries – as the second strongest passport in Africa after Seychelles.

3. South Africa – No Visa Required in 94 Countries

Many of us can only dream about the freedom to travel without any visa restrictions and while South Africans enjoy one of the widest ranges of visa-free travel options on the African continent – with its visa-free access extending to 97 of the world’s 194 countries – the slow progress in the approval of something like a Uni-visa for southern African Development Community (SADC) Countries only serves to add more pipe than pleasure. The South African passport is the 3rd most powerful passport.

4. Botswana – No visa required in 73 Countries

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The fourth most powerful African passport is that held by citizens of Botswana, which is ranked 58th in the Index. However, the Botswana passport only offers visa-free entry to 73 countries, which makes it 57% poorer in terms of access than the five highest-ranked passports: citizens of Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany and the United States are able to travel visa-free to 174 destinations around the globe.

5. Gambia – No visa required in 68 countries

The Gambia has the fifth most powerful passport in Africa. The Gambian passport allows holders to visit 68 countries without having to go through the tedium of obtaining an entry clearance visa. Only Seychelles with 129 visa free countries, Mauritius at 125, South Africa at 94 and Botswana at 73 trumped The Gambia.

6. Kenya – No visa required in 68 Countries

This number somewhat is a fair reflection of the power on a Kenyan Passport holder because it means for you to travel globally you need to apply for Visas to more than half the number of the 219 countries surveyed!. The Kenyan Passport ranks 5th on our list of the most powerful passports in Africa with 68 countries no visa required, the same as the Gambian Passport.

7. Lesotho – No Visa required in 67 Countries

 

The Lesotho passport is the sixth most powerful passport in Africa. The Lesotho passport allows holders to visit 67 countries without having to go through the tedium of obtaining an entry clearance visa. Only Seychelles with 129 visa free countries, Mauritius at 125, South Africa at 94 Botswana at 73, Kenya and Gambia at 68 trumped over the Lesotho passport.

8. Namibia – No Visa required in 67 Countries

The other sixth most powerful African passport is that held by citizens of Namibia, which is ranked 58th in the Index. However, the Namibian passport only offers visa-free entry to 67 countries, which makes it 32% poorer in terms of access than the five highest-ranked passports: citizens of Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany and the United States are able to travel visa-free to 174 destinations around the globe.

9. Malawi –  No Visa required in 66 Countries

This number somewhat is a good reflection of the power on a Malawian Passport holder because it means for you to travel globally you need to apply for Visas to more than half the number of the 219 countries surveyed!. The Malawian Passport ranks 7th on our list of the most powerful passports in Africa with 66 countries no visa required, the same as the Zambian Passport. Although Malawi is geographically small, in terms of area, its passport has made it on the list of the 10 most powerful passports in Africa.

10. Zambia – No Visa Required in 66 Countries

A somewhat good reflection of the power on a Zambian Passport holder because it means for you to travel globally you need to apply for Visas to more than half the number of the 219 countries surveyed!. The Zambian Passport ranks 7th on our list of the most powerful passports in Africa with 66 countries no visa required, the same as the Malawian Passport. The Zambian passport has made it on the list of the 10 most powerful passports in Africa.

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