This article is centred on the most powerful African passports, all African passports do not have the same value as some are well-revered than others. Even in the same hand, all fingers are not created equal and in the same way, all African passports are not created equal.
Some African passports are much more powerful than the rest and a new classification from the global citizen financial advisory firm “Arton Capital” has given us a clear idea of what is what.
Without a doubt, travelling is an aspect of the human race that has been an intricate part of life for centuries. Although the trips were made for migration purposes with crude means of transportation, generally on foot, by boat or in carriages; in those days there was no need for a visa to grant entry to other territories.
Now, people from all over the world travel for different reasons, from business, pleasure and also migration in search of greener pastures. The only change here is the demand for a document that grants foreigners or visitors access to another country for any reason and length of stay. This document is widely known as the “Visa”. From country to country, the solidity of the visa determines the number of countries that people can visit outside their country of origin.
While some countries have a stronger visa, other country’s visa is less authorized. Unfortunately, the passport strength of most African countries is presumably low compared to the passport strength of other countries. This is generally due to the desire of the majority of people of African descent to seek a better life outside of their home country, which could be affected by poverty, ethnic wars, disease, bad governance or corruption.
This has made other wealthy nations fear that people from those countries enter their territories for fear of overpopulating their own country or taking jobs reserved for legitimate citizens.
As already established, African passport holders find it difficult to travel to any region of the world. To compound this problem, Africans looking to travel to other African countries also have this problem, which is why the African Union has been pushing for an Africa without borders that allows visa-free travel and more flexible border requirements among African nations.
To date, Rwanda, Ghana and Benin have removed visa requirements for other Africans, stating personal reasons.
There is still a long way to go to achieve this Africa without borders, meanwhile, people who have passports from Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa are at the top of the list when they consider good passports, while Nigerians, Ethiopians and Somalis will surely travel much more stressful.
The classification of African passports was based on how many countries the passport will allow its holder to visit without a visa or how many countries will allow the passport holder to obtain a visa on arrival.
With a Seychelles passport, for example, one is allowed to travel to 126 countries that include picky countries like the United Kingdom, France and China. Some of these countries will leave people visa-free, allowing them to obtain a visa on arrival or even settle for an electronic travel authorization.
Of course, so much freedom is allowed in other countries, Seychelles is itself a very open country. It does not require anyone to present visas regardless of their nationality. Visitors simply receive a visitor’s permit upon arrival.
The Most Powerful African Passports
Here is Arton Capital’s ranking of the most powerful African passports;
- Seychelles – 126
- Mauritius – 118
- South Africa – 90
- Botswana – 69
- Lesotho – 66
- Malawi – 65
- Swaziland – 64
- Namibia – 64
- Kenya – 64
- Gambia – 63
- Cape Verde – 63
- Tanzania – 62
For the other side of the coin, here is Arton Capital’s ranking of the least powerful African passport;
- Congo – 43
- Equatorial Guinea – 43
- Burundi – 42
- Nigeria – 41
- Djibouti – 40
- DRC – 39
- Libya – 37
- Eritrea – 36
- Sudan – 36
- South Sudan – 34
- Ethiopia – 34
- Somalia – 30
From Arton Capital’s ranking, Somalia’s passport appears to have the worst visa score in the group. The Somali passport allows its holder to travel to only 30 countries in total. While this is not so bad, it may be better.
However, in an overall global passport ranking of 193 countries, African passports continue to rank in the bottom half of the list, which is also not encouraging. Hopefully, the image of African countries would improve to give their citizens the freedom to visit more countries of their choice, especially when they have the means to do so.
Now that you’ve known the most powerful African passports we hope every country negatively affected can amend to the global requirements level to get more welcomed globally. Also, we hope every individual in Africa can make the right choice when travelling abroad.