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BY Abu Mubarik, 3:12pm January 14, 2021,

These are the seven most worthless African passports to hold in 2021

African passports. Photo: Reuters/Finbarr O'reilly

The Henley Passport Index has released its latest report on the ranking of the world’s passports according to the destinations one can visit without a prior visa. According to the latest ranking, Japan maintains the top spot as having the world’s most powerful passport while in Africa, South Africa tops the chart.

Global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners use data from the International Air Transport Association to determine how many destinations passport holders in every country can access without first obtaining a visa.

The index is updated in real-time throughout the year to reflect visa-policy changes and recently, Henley released its quarterly report on the world’s most desirable and least desirable passports. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

According to the index, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini have the most powerful passports in Africa. The index also captures countries with worthless passports.

Below is a list of seven African countries with the most worthless passports.


The Somali passport is ranked as the most worthless passport not only in Africa but in the world. The Horn of African nation is ranked 106 and its passport holders can visit a total of 33 visa-free destinations. Since 2007, Somalia has been taking a number of steps to improve the power of its passport, including issuing e-passport and national identity documents and birth certificates.


Ranked 104 globally, the Libyan passport is the second most worthless African passport. Libyan passport holders can visit 38 countries without a prior visa. The Libyan passport is issued to citizens of Libya for international travel and identification of Libyan nationals within the borders and abroad.


The passport of Sudan is the third-worst African passport and it is ranked 102 globally. Sudanese passport holders can visit 40 countries without prior visa approval. The validity of the Sudanese passport is valid for 5-7 years after issuance. The Republic of Sudan started issuing electronic passports to citizens in May 2009 in three categories; the citizen’s passport, Business passports for men and women who need to travel often, and smaller passports for children.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo, commonly referred to as DR Congo, is a country in Central Africa. It is the second-largest country in Africa and the 11th- largest in the world. Its passport holders can visit 42 countries without a prior visa.


The Eritrean passport ties with the Congolese passport at 100th in the global rankings. Eritrean passport holders can visit 42 destinations visa-free. The Eritrean passport is issued to citizens of Eritrea for international travel after the completion of mandatory military service. Eritreans living abroad only receive a passport from their consulate if they have paid their taxes to their country.

South Sudan

The South Sudanese passport is only able to take holders to 43 visa-free destinations. The passport is given to citizens of South Sudan for international travel. The Republic of South Sudan started issuing internationally recognized electronic passports in January 2012 and they are valid for 5 years after being issued.


Ranked 98th in the whole world, an Ethiopian passport holder can access 44 visa-free destinations across the world. Ethiopia is currently issuing electronic passports that require fingerprints. Therefore, all applications must be made in-person at the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs offices or Embassy of Ethiopia if the applicant is abroad.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 15, 2021


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