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10 most powerful passports in Africa

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Nigeria, often called the “Giant of Africa,” has remarkable size, influence, and cultural diversity, with over 200 million people. Nigeria boasts a thriving economy, abundant natural resources, and a vibrant cultural scene. Despite its prominent status, Nigeria finds itself in a unique position in terms of the strength of its passport.

With its vast population and significant economic potential, Nigeria holds a passport ranking that reflects a different narrative. As of 2023, Nigeria’s passport takes the bottom spot as a country with one of the 20 worst passports to hold in 2023 with visa-free access to only 46 countries.

African passports have witnessed substantial advancements in the dynamic landscape of global travel in recent years. While obstacles remain, numerous African countries have made considerable progress in strengthening their economies and passports, giving their citizens more global access.

Here are the ten most powerful African country passports, along with their global rankings and the number of visa-free destinations they offer:

Seychelles (25th globally)
The Seychellois passport continues to lead the African race, providing bearers visa-free entry to an amazing 155 countries. Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean, is recognised for its beautiful beaches, diverse marine life, and dynamic culture. Its strong passport reflects its political stability, a thriving economy fueled by the tourism and fishing industries, and diplomatic efforts to win favourable visa deals.

Mauritius (30th globally)
Mauritius maintains its excellent position by granting visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 149 countries globally.Mauritius is a tropical island paradise known for its lush surroundings, diversified culture, and thriving financial industry. The strength of its passport is supported by a stable democracy, a booming economy focused on technology and finance, and proactive diplomatic connections.

South Africa (54th globally)
As a regional heavyweight, South Africa allows bearers of its passports to enter 107 countries without a visa. South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized country, has a diverse environment, a rich cultural legacy, and a thriving tourism industry. Its passport demonstrates its economic influence, diplomatic authority, and stable political environment.

Botswana (61st globally)
Botswana’s passport remains robust, granting citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to 89 countries. Botswana, well-known for its wildlife and national parks, has a stable democracy and a developing economy driven by diamond mining and tourism. Its passport allows citizens to travel to other parts of the world.

Namibia (65th globally)
Namibia’s passport is becoming more powerful, granting bearers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 80 countries. Namibia is a popular tourist destination due to its spectacular desert scenery and distinctive attraction. Its passport has grown in value due to its political stability and efforts to strengthen international contacts and economic agreements.

Read also More troubles as Nigerian passport faces ‘devaluation’

Lesotho (66th globally)
Lesotho’s passport provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to 79 countries, making it an important travel document. Lesotho’s economy is based on agriculture and textiles, completely bordered by South Africa. Thanks to diplomatic ties and regional stability, its passport provides significant global access despite its small size.

Eswatini (68th globally)
Formerly known as Swaziland, Eswatini’s passport allows citizens to visit 77 countries without a visa or with visa-on-arrival arrangements.Eswatini, a small, landlocked kingdom, is known for its rich cultural traditions. Its passport’s strength is attributed to diplomatic efforts, political stability, and the country’s participation in regional organisations.

Kenya (69th globally)
Kenya’s passport has grown in popularity recently, granting holders visa-free travel to 76 countries. Kenya, an East African country, has a diversified environment with savannahs, mountains, and coasts. Its passport strength can be attributed to the country’s expanding economy, tourism industry, and diplomatic contacts in East Africa.

Malawi (70th globally)
Malawi passport holders can enjoy visa-free travel to 75 countries. Malawi, noted for its scenic Lake Malawi and friendly people, has made strides in strengthening its passport. Political stability and tourism promotion efforts have aided its rating.

Tanzania (72nd globally)
Tanzanian passports round off the top ten; holders get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 73 countries, making international travel more convenient. Tanzania is known for its breathtaking landscapes, including Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti. Its passport has improved because of political stability and a focus on regional integration within the East African Community.