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Zim passport loses its competitiveness

The Zimbabwean passport is the 15th strongest in Africa, allowing a holder to travel to 64 countries visa-free. Globally, the Zimbabwean passport ranks 79th, together with the Dominican Republic.

— Equity Axis News

The ranking is according to the 2020 Henley Passport Index, which ranks passports according to global mobility and access.

With 51 African countries having been included in the rankings, the Zimbabwean passport is among the most valued passports in Africa coming in at position 15.

However, its position has weakened over the last 10 years. In 2006, the passport ranked 64th globally, while in 2010, it ranked 70th.


Its worst ranking was in 2015 when it was 82nd the world over.

In Africa, Seychelles has the most powerful passport, accessing up to 151 countries without a visa. Seychelles ranks 29th globally. Mauritius at 146 follows at second, then South Africa with 100 countries in third position.

Three Asian countries top the global list for countries with the most access without a visa.

Japan holds the record for the world’s most powerful passport, accessing 191 countries visa-free.

Singapore follows at 190 countries and South Korea at third place with 189 countries.

The United States ranks at eighth accessing 184 countries visa-free, whereas Afghanistan ranks 107. Afghani passport holders can only visit 26 countries without a visa.

For Zimbabwe, access to a passport, meanwhile, remains very much a challenge as registry grapples with a backlog of over 300 000 passports.

Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, who wish to renew their passports from their host countries abroad, will now be required to pay US$318 in order to be issued with the travel document.