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Top 10 most powerful African passports in 2024 - Henley Report

The top 10 most powerful passports in Africa in 2023 are Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Top 10 most powerful African passports in 2024 - Henley Report
South Africa ranks as top 3 most powerful passports in 2024.

2024's definitive list of the most powerful African passports is here! Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Kenya, and Tanzania made it to the list.

For African travellers and expatriates, few issues command more attention than the power of their nationโ€™s passport. Spoiler alert! Africa currently has very little passport power and limited economic mobility, according to the 2024 Henley Passport Index. 

The report ranks the worldโ€™s passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. How does Africa fare in this global competition? Which countries have the most powerful passports in the continent? We break down the list in this article using the latest data and insights from the Henley Passport Index.

10 most Powerful African passports in 2024

Here are the top 10 most powerful African passports based on Henley & Partners data:

  1. Seychelles ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ: Africa's top passport for the third year in a row. The archipelago nation has focused intently on improving travel opportunities through strategic deals with regional blocs. Seychellesโ€™s passport gives you access to many places in Europe and China without a visa.

Global Rank: 26

Visa-Free Score: 156

  1. Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ: The Mauritian passport gains strength through trade and investment, and recent virtual residency rules enhance its appeal. Citizens enjoy barrier-free access to leisure and business in Commonwealth nations, making it an attractive choice for travel and work.

Global Rank: 30

Visa-Free Score: 150

  1. South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ: The most developed country in Africa keeps its top-3 position in the region. South Africaโ€™s role as an important growing market helps it get more travel deals with other countries, especially across Asia, the Americas and Russia.

Global Rank: 53

Visa-Free Score: 108

  1. Botswana: An outlier as one of Africa's most stable democracies, Botswana exceeds expectations in terms of passport power. The nationโ€™s passport strength has boosted since it joined the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). This makes it easier for Botswanaโ€™s passport holders to enter 20 other countries in the group without pre-approved travel visas. 

Global Rank: 59

Visa-Free Score: 91

  1. Namibia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ: Angola is Namibia's latest addition for visa-free travel. This move is part of the countryโ€™s efforts to strengthen ties with key African trading partners. For those holding a Namibian passport, this translates to simpler travel and better connections with neighbouring regions.

Global Rank: 65

Visa-Free Score: 80

  1. Lesotho ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ธ: The small country in the mountains of southern Africa is experiencing an increase in passport power, primarily because of its membership in the South African Customs Union. Lesotho also has new travel agreements with countries like Cote d'Ivoire, Sรฃo Tomรฉ, and Prรญncipe, granting members preferential access and travel freedom.

Global Rank: 65

Visa-Free Score: 80

  1. Eswatini ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฟ: Africa's last absolute monarchy saw a boost in its passport strength as a result of increased diplomatic links globally after changing its name in 2018. Joining COMESA also enabled eSwatini's travel benefits.

Global Rank: 66

Visa-Free Score: 78

  1. Malawi ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ: Malawi, known for its agriculture-based economy in East Africa, has a passport that benefits from being part of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). The country's emphasis on education and literacy is also helping its citizens make the most of opportunities abroad.

Global Rank: 67

Visa-Free Score: 76

  1. Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช: Kenya's passport strength reflects its commitment to enhance mobility with important global relationships. Within the East African Community, Kenya consistently outperforms other countries, emphasizing its citizens' enthusiasm for foreign travel.

Global Rank: 67

Visa-Free Score: 76

  1. Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ: Tanzaniaโ€™s passport is back in the top 10 of Africa's most powerful for its strategic relations and streamlined immigration processes recently. With considerable potential for nature tourism, the country strives to elevate global engagement. 

Rank: 69

Visa-Free Score: 73

Related Post: Don't Miss The Top Ten Most Powerful African passports for 2023

The worldโ€™s 10 most powerful passports for 2024 

Passports from countries like Spain, Japan and France make international travel worthwhile. They offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to hundreds of destinations worldwide, making them highly sought after by travellers. 

Japan shares the top spot on the Henley Passport Index in 2024 with nine other countries.
Japan and Singapore still appear in first place among the most powerful passports in the world.

Hereโ€™s a list of the top 10 most powerful passports for 2024:

Nigeria's Place in the 2024 Rankings

In 2024, the Nigerian passport holds the 95th spot globally, with a visa-free score of 45. In Africa, Nigeria ranks 34th. Despite this improvement, the Nigerian passport has fallen by 38 places in the global ranking since 2006, despite gaining 11 more destinations. 

The chart compares Nigeriaโ€™s passport power from 2006 to 2024. It shows little change in mobility score and visa-free destinations, but significant change in terms of global rank.

Note that the global rank in the index indicates the position of a country's passport in relation to other passports, while the visa-free score represents the number of destinations that can be accessed without a visa, including visa-free entry, visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA).

The Nigerian Passport

Visa-Free Destinations for Nigerians in 2024

The latest rankings show that with the green passport, Nigerians can unlock entries to a growing roster of nearly 50 countries in 2024 without needing pre-approved visas. The list of visa-free countries for Nigerian passport holders includes:

Barbados ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ง, Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Burkina Faso ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ, Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Cambodia ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Chad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Comoro Islands ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Cook Islands ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฐ, Cote d'Ivoire ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Dominica ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Fiji ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Guinea-Bissau ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ผ, Haiti ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡น, Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Kiribati ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Lebanon ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง, Liberia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท, Madagascar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป, Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ, Mauritania ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท, Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ, Micronesia ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Montserrat ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Mozambique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ, Niger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช, Niue ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡บ, Palau Islands ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ผ, Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ, Samoa ๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Sierra Leone ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ, Somalia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ด, St. Kitts and Nevis ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ, The Gambia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ,Timor-Leste ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ, Togo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Tuvalu ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ป, Vanuatu ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ.

Closing Thoughts

As 2024 unfolds, remember that the power of a passport represents a world of possibilities. These rankings are more than a mere list but keys to global diplomacy and new opportunities. Keep an eye out for our future updates for more insights.

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