Seychelles’ passport retains top spot as best in Africa
The Henley Passport Index ranks Seychelles as 29th out of 199 countries for the first quarter of 2023 for the ability of the country’s passport holders to visit 153 countries visa free.
The index is prepared by London-based Henley and Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm.
The firm uses data gathered from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which manages inter-airline cooperation globally.
As IATA gathers the information in real-time, the index is also amended in the same manner as Henley and Partners also monitor any changes governments may impose on the passports and visa.
The latest figures show Seychelles is ahead of Mauritius at the 34th place where passport holders can visit 146. South Africa came in at 53rd place with its citizens able to visit 106 visa free destinations and Kenya at 73rd with 73 countries.
While the small island state’s passport is still faring better than many of its other African counterparts, Seychelles has slipped down by one place from its ranking of 2022.
The Seychelles – an archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean – also recently changed its passport to a bio-metric one in November last year, in a bid to ensure its safety.
“It is a passport that will be secure and it will not be easy for someone to duplicate it,” President Wavel Ramkalawan had declared at the time of receiving his own passport- which was also the first issued.
The Henley index claims to be the “original ranking of all the world’s passports covers 227 destinations and 199 passports and compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations.”
To determine the passport’s ranking, if no visa is required, then a score with value of 1 is created for that passport. The same applies if you can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.
According to the index, Japan is the country with the strongest passport for the fifth year running, with their citizens being able to freely visit 193 destinations.
Singapore and South Korea, whose citizens can freely visit 192, are in second place.