Africa's most valuable and least desirable passports

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According to global advisory firm Arton Capital’s latest Passport Index, South Africa’s passport is the most valuable on the African continent, with a score of 90, which ranks it 49th in the table, followed by Botswana with a score of 69, Lesotho with a score of 66 and Malawi with a score of 65. Whilst South Africa is ranked the most valuable passport in Africa it should be noted that its passport is less valuable than countries such as the Russian Federation and Albania

The lowest-scoring African countries are Nigeria (41), Ethopia (34) and Somalia, while the world’s least-desirable passport goes again to Afghanistan, with a score of just 23.  Pakistan (26) and Sri Lanka (35)

The Index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

Globally Germany takes the lead with a visa-free score of 157. Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport, with a visa free score of 156, coming second.

The index also shows changes to the ranking of countries in 2016. Marshall Islands is on top of the winners’ list by adding 35 countries to its visa-free score. Palau, Micronesia, follow with 34 additional countries, while Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33. Peru is the biggest winner in South America with additional 31 countries.

The newly added World Openness Score (WOS) tracks the progression of freedom of mobility across the globe. The world openness score in 2016 was 17,925. In the first few days of 2017, the score has increased to 17,948. This trend shows opening of borders but will it continue? With the recent backlash against globalisation and ongoing immigration issues, the World Openness Score may be in danger of decline.

The comparison tool also has a newly added Improve function, which demonstrates how the addition of one or more passports to an existing travel document can improve the holder’s Global Mobility Score (GMS). For example, a Lebanese citizen has a GMS of 38. However, by adding a passport of Saint Lucia, their Global Mobility Score increases drastically to 123, which would represent the possibility of visa-free travel to over 61% of the countries we examine. For many people, this is priceless.

New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:

  1. 157 – Germany
  2. 156 – Singapore, Sweden
  3. 155 – Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, UK, USA
  4. 154 – Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Japan
  5. 153 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand
  6. 152 – Greece, South Korea, Australia
  7. 151 – Czech Republic, Iceland
  8. 150 – Hungary
  9. 149 – Malta, Poland
  10. 148 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia

New Top 10 Individual Passport Power Ranking:

  1. Germany
  2. Singapore
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Finland
  6. France
  7. Spain
  8. Switzerland
  9. Norway
  10. United Kingdom