Exclusive Africa presents the top 10 most powerful African passports in the world in 2023. The list highlights the countries whose passports provide their citizens with easy access to travel to other countries visa-free.
The credibility of a country’s passport reflects on the number of top nations in and outside their continents that legal holders of the passport can travel visa-free or with a visa on arrival. This list highlights the top 10 African countries with the most powerful passports, as compiled by Henley & Partners.
African countries made an interesting showing on the list although there are a few surprises here and there.
As you already know, regardless of your status or class, the type of passport you own can determine the countries you can visit, and many people find this inappropriate. This is why those with the opportunity and who can afford it opt for dual citizenship and a second passport.
Like currencies, the value of passports differs globally, so much so that a person’s worth and status can be immediately determined by the passport they carry.
For the past 18 years, Henley & Partners, global citizenship and residence advisory company, has consistently released the ranking of passports based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which determines the strength of each passport based on its acceptance across different borders.
According to the company, the yearly index covers over 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. The ranking is often updated quarterly, and it is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states worldwide when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum.
This year, the company has released its 2023 ranking, including 109 new regions. From the latest results, Japan has the most powerful passport in the world, and holders of the passport can access 193 countries visa-free.
Of the 109 new additions this year, 42 are African nations, and Seychelles is currently ranked as 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.”
Below are the top ten most powerful African passports based on the ranking metric system stated above.
Rank Country Visa Free Score Global Rank
1 Seychelle 153 29
2 Mauritius 146 34
3 South Africa 106 53
4 Botswana 87 63
5 Namibia 79 67
6 Lesotho 77 69
7 Malawii 74 72
8 Kenya 73 73
9 Tanzania 72 74
10 Zambia 71 75
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