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These Are The Most Powerful African Passports

By Zaina Adamu

There’s no denying that a passport is your ticket to the world, but some passports have more power and privileges based on the country that issues it. With a powerful passport, that travelers can gain entry into more countries with relative ease. While Asia has three of the most powerful passports in the world (Singapore, Japan, and South Korea) we’ll tell you which African passports, according to the Henley Passport Index, the most reputable passport index based on IATA data and supported by expert analysis, hold the most weight.

*Note: These are the Henley Passport Index’s latest 2019 rankings and are subject to change throughout the year.

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Seychelles passport owners, congratulations! Your passport ranks highest amongst all other African nations. With a Seychelles passport, tourists have higher visa considerations or can skip visa fees altogether in 150 countries.

Overall, a Seychelles passport ranks 27th in the world coming in just before Costa Rica and right after St. Kitts and Nevis.


The East African island nation of Mauritius ranks second on the list of most powerful African passports coming in just shy of the top 30 at a 31 ranking. With a Mauritius passport, visitors have access to visit 145 countries around the world.

But as beautiful as the picturesque island is, why would anyone want to leave?

South Africa

South Africans who hold a passport are in luck. Although the nation is at the southernmost tip of Africa, these passport holders can visit up to 99 counties around the globe with no issue.

The third most powerful African passport ranks 54th on the world’s list but fell two spots against its ranking last year, which was 52.


The weight of a Botswana passport remained steady compared to 2018’s figures. The passport is considered the fourth most powerful on the continent and ranks 64th in the world. Passport holders from the nation, situated directly above South Africa, have access to 82 countries.


Fifth on the list is Namibia, a southwestern country sitting right along the Atlantic coast. Globally, it ranks at 68 among 109 countries and passport owners have access to 76 countries. Namibia comes right after Oman and immediately before Belarus, which ranks one point higher.


The power of a Kenyan passport has dropped significantly within the past 10 years but still ranks as the 6th most powerful on the continent.

In 2009, it ranked at 55; today it stands at 74, but owners still have access to 70 countries. Kenya falls right behind Saudi Arabia, Malawi, and China.

The bottom five African passports are Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Eritrea, and South Sudan.

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