Namibian passport ranking improves slightly

Ellanie Smit
Namibian passports currently rank 70th in the latest Henley Passport Index, which is an important ranking of passport power, up from a ranking of 73 last year.

The number of visa-free countries Namibia has access to has also increased slightly from 78 to 79 this year.

The index ranks the world's 199 passports according to the number of countries the holders can access without a visa.

It is based on information gathered by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).

The Namibian passport hung onto its position as the fifth most powerful in Africa.

Access

Seychelles was ranked as having the most powerful passport in Africa, with access to 153 destinations, and 28th globally.

Mauritius followed with access to 146 destinations and emerged 33rd worldwide.

South Africa allows access to 105 destinations and was ranked number 55 globally.

Botswana emerged fourth with 87 destinations,

Japan, Singapore and South Korea have the most powerful passports globally with Japan having access to 193 destinations and Singapore together with South Korea 192 destinations.

The index noted that Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever before, with sanctions, travel restrictions and airspace closures limiting access to other countries.

Barred

Russian citizens from accessing all but a few destinations in Asia and the Middle East.

The Russian passport currently sits at 50th on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free on arrival score of 119.

However, due to airspace closures in EU member nations, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, and the UK, Russian citizens are effectively barred from travelling throughout most of the developed world.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian passport is currently ranked in 35th place on the index, with holders able to access 144 destinations around the world without needing a visa in advance.

In contrast to the stringent restrictions placed on Russian passport holders, Ukrainians displaced by the invasion have been granted the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years under an emergency plan in response to what has become Europe’s biggest refugee crisis this century.

After the EU’s recent, ground-breaking announcement awarding Ukraine candidate status, the first step towards EU membership, the travel freedom for Ukrainian passport holders is likely to increase further in the coming years.