Sierra Leone’s Passport Soars 10 Spots to Secure 74th Global Ranking in 2023

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Sierra Leone’s passport has emerged as the most powerful among countries in the Mano River Union (MRU), according to the latest Henley Passport Index. The index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), ranks passports based on the number of countries their holders can travel to without needing a visa or with visa on arrival.

Sierra Leone’s passport climbed 10 spots to rank 74th in the world in 2023, up from 83rd in 2022. This is the highest ranking within the MRU, with Cote d’Ivoire coming in second with a ranking of 79, Guinea at 80, and Liberia tailing at 87.

The Henley Passport Index provides a global ranking of countries based on the travel freedom that their ordinary passport holders enjoy. The index ranks a total of 199 countries according to the number of destinations their citizens can access without needing a visa or by obtaining a visa on arrival.

In terms of the visa-free “score”, which is determined by the number of countries a passport holder can enter without a visa, The Gambia ranks highest in West Africa at 72nd place globally. Sierra Leone follows closely at the second position.

Henley and Partners, the publishing firm behind the report, noted in a press statement that the gap in global mobility between the top and bottom of the index is wider than ever before. Singapore, ranking highest, can access 165 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which is at the bottom.

In addition to the Passport Index, Henley and Partners also publish the Henley Openness Index, which ranks nations based on the number of countries whose citizens can enter their borders visa-free or with visa on arrival. Many African countries top this index.

Within Africa, Sierra Leone ranks 28th, with citizens from 113 out of 198 countries able to enter the country without a visa or with visa on arrival. Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, on the other hand, rank lower at 84th place, with only 23 countries’ citizens able to enter their borders without a visa or with visa on arrival.


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