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Kenyan passport is the 8th most powerful passport in Africa, says report

The Kenyan passport is the eighth most powerful in Africa according to research.

The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa.

According to the report produced in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Kenyan citizens can travel to 71 countries without visas out of a possible 218. The country HAS maintained the same position compared to the previous year.

In Africa, the Kenyan passport is ranked only below Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini.

Globally, Kenya was in position 72, in a ranking that placed Japan on the top, with the Japanese citizens being offered visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to an incredible 191 destinations around the world. 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.

Asia dominates the top of the list, with Singapore in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea tied with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).

The US and the UK, meanwhile, continue to slide down the rankings. They hold joint eighth place a far cry from the number one spot they jointly held five years ago, in 2015.

Best passports in the world to hold:
1. Japan (191 destinations)
2. Singapore (190)
3. South Korea, Germany (189)
4. Italy, Finland (188)
5. Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark (187)
6. Sweden, France (186)
7. Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria (185)
8. United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Belgium (184)
9. New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia (183)
10. Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary (181)

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Best African passports to hold
29. Seychelles (151 destinations)
32. Mauritius (146)
56. South Africa (100)
62. Botswana (84)
67. Namibia (76)
69. Lesotho (74)
70. eSwatini (73)
71. Malawi (71)
72. Kenya (71)
73. Tanzania and Zambia (70)

The worst passports to hold
Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to fewer than 40 countries.
These include:
100. North Korea, Sudan (39 destinations)
101. Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38)
102. Libya (37)
103. Yemen (33)
104. Somalia, Pakistan (32)
105. Syria (29)
106. Iraq (28)
107. Afghanistan (26)

In 2016, as reported by Capital Lifestyle, Kenyan passport holders could access 68 countries visa-free including Jamaica, HongKong, Fiji, Singapore, Panama, Philipines, Mauritius and Indonesia. Kenya was ranked 70th globally then.

The report notes that there is a growing divide when it comes to travel freedom and this mobility gap is now the widest it’s ever been since the index’s inception in 2006.

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