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Seychelles is the African country whose citizens have the most freedom to visit other countries around the globe, while Eritrean passport holders have the hardest time travelling.

A new infographic, designed by Rosie Spinks for GOOD magazine, ranks countries according to the number of places their passports can enter either without a visa, or with a visa on arrival.

The research shows that passport holders from Seychelles can visit 126 countries without having to apply for a visa. Mauritius, South Africa and Botswana are the African countries ranked in second, third and fourth places respectively. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, features in joint 33rd position.

Globally, passports from Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the most powerful, allowing citizens easy access to 173 countries. Afghanistan is the lowest ranked country.

Strict visa requirements between African countries have been blamed for holding back economic growth. “Africa is one of the regions in the world with the highest visa requirements. Visa restrictions imply missed economic opportunities for intra-regional trade and for the local service economy such as tourism, cross-country medical services or education”, said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, during a conference last year.

Note: The original infographic doesn’t include Liberia or Somalia, and both the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo are referred to as “Congo”.

Africa’s most powerful passports



Number of countries passport holders can access
without a visa or by receiving one upon arrival

1 Seychelles 126
2 Mauritius 123
3 South Africa 94
4 Botswana 70
5- Gambia 68
5- Kenya 68
5- Lesotho 68
5- Namibia 68
9 Malawi 67
10- Swaziland 66
10- Zambia 66
12 Tanzania 65
13- Sierra Leone 63
13- Tunisia 63
13- Uganda 63
16 Ghana 61
17 Zimbabwe 60
18 Cape Verde 57
19- Benin 55
19- Côte d’Ivoire 55
19- Mauritania 55
19- Senegal 55
23- Burkina Faso 53
23- Guinea 53
23- Mali 53
23- Niger 53
23- Togo 53
28 Morocco 51
29 São Tomé e Príncipe 50
30- Central African Republic 48
30- Madagascar 48
30- Mozambique 48
33- Guinea-Bissau 47
33- Nigeria 47
35- Algeria 46
35- Egypt 46
35- Gabon 46
38 Chad 45
39- Cameroon 43
39- Congo 43
39- Rwanda 43
42 Comoros 42
43- Equatorial Guinea 41
43- Burundi 41
43- Ethiopia 41
46- Angola 40
46- Djibouti 40
48- Congo 39
48- Libya 39
48- South Sudan 39
51 Sudan 38
52 Eritrea 36


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