By Ruth Brook
Ethiopian passport holders can now visit 43 countries without visa, according to the Henley Passport Index 2020 Report – the original ranking system of all the worlds’ passports according to the number of countries they can visit without a visa, or with a visa upon arrival.
The index ranks countries using a visa free/visa-on-arrival score. With a score of 43, Ethiopia is placed 96th out of 199 passports on the 2020 global ranking, sharing the position with neighboring country South Sudan. The 43 counties -majority of which are in Africa – are made up 10 in Asia, 19 in Africa, 6 in Oceania, 5 in the Caribbean, 2 in the Americas and 1 in the Middle East.
The previous decade had seen a slight fluctuation in position for the Ethiopian passport which started off the last decade with a ranking of 92 on the index. 2015 saw Ethiopia’s lowest ranking to date at 104 on the index. The last three years have seen a hike for the Ethiopian passport, placing 99th in 2018, 97th in 2019 and 96th at the start of the new decade.
”Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life. The latest rankings show that the countries that embrace this reality are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and the array of benefits that come with it,” said Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept.
The Henley Passport Index started in 2006, analyzing visa regulations of all the countries and territories since its conception. The data is maintained by the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information powered by the International Air Transport Association, the report stated.
The 2020 report takes into consideration current global affairs and the “realities shaping our world”. It offers exclusive insight into mobility and migration patterns, and looks at predictions for the coming year as migration becomes a perpetual condition of life.
“Migration, as with almost everything else, is a function of supply and demand — and, increasingly, it is accepted that more migration creates more demand, stimulating much needed economic growth. As the world economy heads into a synchronized slowdown, we must view migration as part of the solution, not the problem,” commented, Dr. Parag Khanna, bestselling author and the Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap in Singapore.
The majority of passports assuming the top 10 seats belong to Asian countries, the report revealed. The number one spot on the 2020 index is held by the Japanese passport, with a score of 191, indicating visa-free access to 148 more countries than the Ethiopian passport. On the tail end of the index is the passport of Afghanistan, with visa-free access to only 26 countries.
“While the latest results from the Henley Passport Index show that globally, people are more mobile than ever before, they also indicate a growing divide when it comes to travel freedom,” the report stated.
By Ruth Brook