Kenyan passport the most powerful in East Africa
The Kenyan passport is the most powerful in East Africa, a report released last week reveals.
Holders of the Kenyan passport can travel to 68 countries without a visa or get one upon arrival in any of the states.
This is according to Passport Index, a ranking of the most powerful passports in the world done by global finance firm Arton Capital.
The ranking is based on how many countries particular passport holders can visit without an advance visa, or by securing one on arrival.
It uses data from the International Air Transportation Agency (IATA) as well as individual travellers to come up with a passports’ Visa Free Score (VFS), or the number of countries that allow its holder to enter without a visa.
The higher the VFS, the higher it ranks in the “Passport Power Rank.”
Kenya is ranked number 50 worldwide in the index and sixth in Africa. Tanzania is the second most powerful in East Africa at number 57, with right to travel to 61 countries; Uganda is at position 60 (57) while Rwanda is ranked 74(43).
The Indian-Ocean Island of Seychelles has the most powerful passport in Africa and the document opens doors in 124 countries. Globally, it is ranked 24 and has the smallest population in Africa with slightly over 90,000 people.
Mauritius (26, 111), South Africa(41, 84) and Guinea (42, 81) complete the top four most powerful African passports.
The rating reveals that a country’s economy, its relationship with world powers and its location determines the strength of its passport. Whether its democratic or not also determines how its citizens are received.
Not surprisingly, the countries whose citizens are afforded the most travel freedom are developed and well-off, while those at the bottom of the list are mostly poor or engulfed in turmoil.
The highest-ranked are the US and UK. Their citizens can travel to 147 countries across the world with either no visa or the authorization issued when they reach their destination.
South Sudan and Palestinian Territories are the least powerful at number 80, allowing passport holders of the two countries to freely visit only 28 countries.
Countries that are allies or are in the same economic bloc also give each other citizens visas pretty easily.
A Kenyan will for instance easily access Rwanda due the East Africa Community protocol that allows free movement of people.
For hostile or closed countries, a visitor may have to contend with extra scrutiny, mean embassy officials, high fees, letters of invitation and they may even throw in a list all of the clubs they belonged to in high school — just to get that visa.
Atorn Capital helps wealthy individuals obtain multiple citizenship and travel freely across the world.
Most powerful passports:
1. US, UK (147 countries)
2. France, South Korea, Germany (145)
3. Sweden, Italy (144)
4. Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands (143)
5. Switzerland (142)
Least powerful passports:
1. Congo (Dem. Rep.), Yemen, Central African Republic, Kosovo (41)
2. Equatorial Guinea, Bhutan, Comoros, Burundi (40)
3. Somalia, Eritrea (39)
4. Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, Ethiopia, Nepal (38)
5. South Sudan, Solomon Islands, Palestinian Territories, Sao Tome and Principe, Myanmar (28)