Sierra Leone has been ranked 15th amongst the Top 20 Passports in Africa. The new Ranking was captured in a new Henley and Partners report showcasing the strength and weaknesses of various passports.
The Island of Seychelles maintained its spot as Africa’s strongest passport in the said report released by Henley & Partners on Thursday.
Mauritius has the second most powerful passport in Africa that can access 150 destinations, maintaining its previous spot. In the world, it has fallen one place behind to number 30, though it has increased its visa-free destinations by two.
Lesotho, Namibia tie for 5th
South Africa, which ranks number 53 in the world, has the third most powerful passport in Africa. Holders of its passport can access 108 destinations visa-free, two countries more than the previous policy.
Botswana has the fourth most powerful passport in Africa that can access 91 destinations, and ranks 59th in the world. Visa-free destinations for citizens of Botswana have increased by two, from the previous policy.
With 80 visa-free destinations, Lesotho and Namibia have the fifth most powerful passports in Africa. Both countries rank 65th in the world.
Ranking seventh in Africa, is the Kingdom of Eswatini, which is granted visa-free access to 78 destinations. The southern African nation ranks 66th in the world.
Tanzania rounds out top 10
East African nation Kenya and the southern African nation of Malawi tie at 8th position in Africa, with holders of their passports accessing 76 destinations each. The two countries tie at 67th spot in the world.
Tanzania rounds out Africa’s ten most powerful passports. The East African nation, which ranks 69th globally, has visa-less access to 73 countries.
Somalia, Libya and Eritrea trail behind with the weakest passports in Africa, according to Henley & Partners.
Henley & Partners says that the ranking is “based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team.”
Besides democracy, political fragility, security and reciprocity, Henley & Partners says income is a reliable predictor of passport strength. “Countries that have higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita according to World Bank data also enjoy more visa-free destinations,” the consultancy firm states.
Sierra Leone’s E-Passport met the rigorous requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
One notable milestone in this journey was the transition from machine-readable passports (MRP) to electronic passports (e-passports) in 2022. This shift not only modernized the passport system but also introduced electronic upgrades for expedited processing of biometric data. Currently, Sierra Leone e-passports are in use for ordinary, diplomatic, and service books.