Kenya’s passport rated Africa’s 8th most powerful globally

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Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, has ranked Kenya’s passport as the eighth most powerful in Africa.

The new research shows the country has, however, slipped down compared to the previous years which the country’s world rating was 62 as at October, 2018.

The firm took into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa.

Kenya citizens can travel to 71 countries without visas out of a possible 218, ranking behind Seychelles, South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Globally, Kenya was in position 72, which is an improvement from last year’s 73, in a ranking that placed Japan on the top, with the Japanese citizens able to travel to a record 190 countries without visas.

“Kenya ranked 72nd in 2019 with 71 destination visa free access,” says the report that is produced in partnership with International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“As the world economy has become increasingly globalised, the need for greater visa-free access has grown steadily,” said the report.

Some of the countries that Kenyans can access without visa or get one on arrival include Singapore, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Fiji, among others.

In Eastern Africa region, Kenya was ahead of its peers with Ethiopia, arguably the fastest growing economy in the region, ranked among the bottom five in Africa.

Countries linked to terror networks like Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq were bottom of the pile, with their citizens requiring visas to access the majority of countries.

A recent survey by the African continental body showed East Africa tops in free movement of people in the region, affirming the gains of an open visa scheme for the continent aimed at spurring trade and tourism.

A further check shows that other Africa’s most powerful passport included South Africa (World ranking: 44), Botswanan (World ranking: 58), Lesotho (World ranking: 59), Swaziland (World ranking: 60) Malawi (World ranking: 61), Namibia (World ranking: 63) and The Gambia (World ranking: 64).

Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (NAN)