Here Are The Most Powerful African Passports


Even on the same hand, all fingers are not equal and just the same way, all African passports are not equal.

Some African passports are so much more powerful than the rest and a new ranking by financial firm Arton Capital has given us a clear picture of what is what.

African passport holders often find it difficult to travel to any region in the world. To alleviate this issue, especially for Africans seeking to travel to other African countries, the African Union has been pushing for a borderless Africa that will allow visa-free travel and looser border requirements among African Nations.

To date, Rwanda, Ghana, and Benin have scrapped visa requirements for other Africans.

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There is still a long way to go to achieve the borderless Africa and in the meantime, some African passports make for difficult travel both within Africa and the world in general. People who hold passports from Seychelles, Mauritius, and South Africa are at the very top of the pile when considering good passports while Nigerians, Ethiopians, and Somali are sure to find traveling far more stressful.

The ranking of African passports was based on the number of countries the passport will allow its holder visit without a visa or how many countries will allow the holder of the passport obtain a visa on arrival.

African passports

With a Seychelles passport, one is enabled to travel to 126 countries that include finicky countries like the United Kingdom, France, and China. Some of these countries will let them in visa free, allow them to get a visa on arrival or even just settle for an electronic travel authorization.

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Of course, to be allowed that much freedom to other countries, Seychelles is itself a very open country. It does not require anyone to present visas regardless of nationality. Visitors are simply given a visitors permit on arrival.

Here is Arton Capital’s ranking of 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 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

Somalia’s passport has the worst visa score enabling its holder to travel to only 30 countries in total. In a general global passport ranking of 193 countries, African passports continue to rank in the bottom half of the list.