Top 20 Most Powerful African Passports, 2019

The Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa have the most powerful passports in Africa.

Top 20 Most Powerful African Passports, 2019

The Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa retained their top spots in this years passport ranking by Henley Passport Index, which ranks visa free scores and passport power in real-time.

The annual Henley Passport Index released recently showed an overall decline in the strength of African passports compared to other continents. In this year’s ranking, the strongest African passport belongs to the Seychelles, with Mauritius and South Africa ranked second and third while the least powerful African passport belongs to Somalia.

Ghana’s passport is the highest ranked in western Africa, trumping Africa’s Giant, Nigeria, which was ranked among the lowest in Africa.

Nigeria’s passport has seen the biggest decline over the last decade, losing more than 20 spots, followed by Sierra Leone and Libya, respectively

According to reports, the Seychellois passport’s strength may be because of the country’s own openness as a visa-free country, with no requirements for any traveller wishing to visit. Similarly, Mauritius does not require a visa from a majority of the world’s travelers, and only requires 16 countries’ citizens to apply for a visa before travel.

This year rankings indicate just how hard it still is for African travellers. Apart from the bottom ranked countries, most Africans can travel to fewer than 100 countries without a visa. For example, Nigerians may only travel to 47 countries without a visa.

Top 20 Most Powerful African Passports, 2019

1. Seychelles

World Rank – 27
Visa-Free Access – 151 countries

2. Mauritius

World Rank – 31
Visa-Free Access – 145 countries

3. South Africa

World Rank – 53
Visa-Free Access – 101 countries

4. Botswana

World Rank – 62
Visa-Free Access – 82 countries

5. Namibia

World Rank – 68
Visa-Free Access – 75 countries

6. Lesotho

World Rank – 69
Visa-Free Access – 74 countries

7. Eswatini (Swaziland)

World Rank – 71
Visa-Free Access – 72 countries

8. Kenya

World Rank – 71
Visa-Free Access – 72 countries

9. Malawi

World Rank – 72
Visa-Free Access – 71 countries


World Rank – 73
Visa-Free Access – 68 countries

11. Tanzania

World Rank – 73
Visa-Free Access – 68 countries

12. Zambia

World Rank – 73
Visa-Free Access – 68 countries

13. Tunisia

World Rank – 74
Visa-Free Access – 66 countries

14. Cape Verde Islands

World Rank – 75
Visa-Free Access – 65 countries

15. Uganda

World Rank – 76
Visa-Free Access – 64 countries

16. Zimbabwe

World Rank – 76
Visa-Free Access – 64 countries

17. Ghana

World Rank – 77
Visa-Free Access – 63 countries

18. Sierra Leone

World Rank – 78
Visa-Free Access – 62 countries

19. Benin

World Rank – 79
Visa-Free Access – 61 countries

20. Morocco

World Rank – 79
Visa-Free Access – 61 countries


The Henley Passport Index is the most rigorous and sophisticated measure of global access. It goes beyond a simple ranking of passports to provide you with an in-depth picture of your travel freedom, including which countries you can access with which type of visa, how your passport has changed over the last 14 years, how your passport compares to other passports, why your passport has the level of access it does, and which additional passports would improve your mobility.

The Henley Passport Index is the only passport index that is based on International Air Transport Association data, enhanced by extensive in-house research, supported by expert commentary, and updated regularly throughout the year, making it the most robust, credible, and reliable index of its kind.

Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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