Seychelles most powerful passport in Africa

Citizens of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, hold the most powerful passport on the continent with their passports granting them access to 151 countries worldwide.

Annual ranking of the power of passports, based on visa-free access granted to holders of those documents, is compiled by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, in association with International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The list for 2018 saw Afghanistan and Iraq at the bottom of the pile with passport holders of these two nations granted visa free access to 30 countries. Meanwhile, passport holders of Somalia and Syria had access to 32 destinations and citizens of Pakistan could enter 33 countries without visas. Other countries making up the bottom five, were Yemen with entry to 37 places and Eritrea with access to 38 nations.

At the top of listing was Japan with visa-free entry to 190 countries, followed by Singapore and South Korea with access to 189 destinations. Other countries making up the top five positions were France and Germany with visa-free entrance to 188 places; Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden with entry to 187 countries; Luxembourg and Spain with visa free access to 186 nations.

In Africa, in addition to Seychelles, other country passport holders with visa-free access to over 70 countries were Mauritius with entry to 145 nations and South Africa with access to 101 nations. The remaining African countries in top rankings were Botswana (82), Namibia (75), Lesotho (74), Eswatini (72), Kenya and Malawi (71).

Global mobility is clearly on the rise, as nations realize the economic potential from visits by international tourist. In 2018, citizens of 97 countries had visa-free access to over 100 destinations; this was nearly double the 58 national passports that granted its holders access to over 100 countries in 2006.