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Eritrea, Somalia have world's least powerful passports

Saturday January 12, 2019
Daniel Mumbere

Eritrea and Somalia are among the least powerful passports globally, according to the 2019 Henley Passport Index.

Eritrea which has visa-free access to 38 destinations and Somalia with visa-free access to a paltry 32 countries, were named in the bottom 5 globally, alongside Afghanistan (30 destinations), Iraq (30), Syria (32), Pakistan (33) and Yemen (37).

The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa. It is done in partnership with International Air Transport Association (IATA

According to the ranking, global mobility is rising, as citizens of different countries can travel to 107 destinations visa-free, as of 2018, compared to just 58 in 2006.

Japan has the most powerful passport globally, with its citizens enjoying visa-free access to 190 destinations.

The most powerful passports in Africa are Seychelles, South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Gambia, Tanzania and Zambia.

Africa’s Top 5

  • Seychelles: 151 destinations visa-free
  • South Africa: 101 destinations visa-free
  • Mauritius: 145 destinations visa-free
  • Botswana: 82 destinations visa-free
  • Namibia: 75 destinations visa-free



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