Tanzania and Kenya’s passports are now the eighth most powerful in Africa and 71 globally after their mobility score having improved six places in the latest ranking.
The Henley Passport Index Report released on Monday shows that the number of countries that Tanzanians can visit without a visa, or obtain it on arrival has increased to 72 from 64 in January last year.
The mobility score measures the number of countries that a person holding Tanzania’s passport can visit without having a visa or the nations where they can get a visa on arrival.
Tanzania emerged eighth, a spot that it shared with Kenya in the latest ranking and behind Mauritius, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles and South Africa.
Elsewhere in East Africa, Uganda emerged position 76 with Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan coming in at number 82, 92 and 99 respectively, according to the report.
The mobility score, which is an initiative of Henley Passport Index had last year downgraded the strength of Kenya’s travel document on account of devastating effects of the Covid-19 that lowered the number of countries that one would visit without visa.
Japan and Singapore tied at position one with citizens of these countries able to visit 192 countries without visas. Germany emerged third in the global ranking.
East African countries rolled out new chip-embedded passports a few years ago for its citizens in a move that targets rampant forgery and impersonation of holders. The new features are meant to make it impossible for anyone to forge or duplicate a passport.
Roll-out of the e-passports with a 10-year validity period marked the beginning of the end of the ‘analogue’ passports that have been in use since Independence and has joined 60 other countries that use new passports.
This story was adapted from Business Daily Africa