What are Africa’s most powerful passports? Whether you’re a frequent traveller or you always keep within the borders of your country, a passport is a remarkably powerful document to have, but some passports carry more power than others. 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.
In Africa, citizens of the Seychelles have the most travel freedom, while Somalia has the least powerful passport, according to the latest ranking by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. The rankings are based on the number of countries passport-holders can visit without a visa.
While travelling outside the continent is infamously difficult for African passport holders, citizens of the Seychelles have visa-free access to 137 countries in the world, including China, Germany, and France. As a top tourist destination, the Seychelles is one of the few countries in the world that allows visitors from any country to cross its borders without a visa. This making it one of Africa’s most powerful passports.
Mauritius passport-holders enjoy similar travel freedom to that of the Seychelles, with the right to enter 131 countries visa-free. The ease of the Mauritius passport reflects the island nation’s openness and calm visa regulations.
South Africa has the third most powerful passport on the continent. South Africans can travel to 98 countries without a visa. The continent’s biggest economy took a tumble in this year’s rankings, having held the top spot between 2007 and 2009 before being surpassed by the Seychelles and Mauritius.
When it comes to the lowest ranked countries on the continent, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia occupy the bottom spot. Somalis have the least powerful passport in Africa, with visa-free access to only 29 countries.