Top performers

The Visa Openness Index top performers saw a continued rise in scores in 2020, with 17 of the top 20 countries also among the destinations most open to all international travellers. A growing number of top 20 countries committed to the continent’s integration agenda. Over half of the top 20 have signed up to the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Single African Air Transport Market, and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Top 10/20 countries

  • Seychelles, Benin and The Gambia are the top performing countries, offering visa-free access to all Africans.
  • One new country from West Africa, Nigeria, entered the top 20 most visa-open countries.
  • Average score for the top 10 countries is 0.902 (up from 0.882 in 2019, 0.878 in 2018, 0.853 in 2017, and 0.861 in 2016).
  • Average score for the top 20 countries is 0.858 (up from 0.824 in 2019, 0.807 in 2018, 0.768 in 2017, 0.4 and 0.734 in 2016).
  • 17 out of the top 20 most open African countries for African travellers are also in the top 20 least restrictive African destinations for global travellers.

Income and geography

  • 18 of the top 20 countries are low- income or lower-middle income economies.
  • Five out of six of Africa’s island states are in the top 20 countries.
  • All six of Africa’s upper-middle income economies have low visa openness scores.
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