An aviation analyst, Sean Mendis has called on the government to push for the signing of more visa-free treaties following the release of the 2021 Henley Passport Index.
He intimated that countries’ performance in the Henley Passport Index relates to their relationship with other countries. He explained that African countries remain at a lower ranking since they haven’t signed enough treaties with their neighbours to allow for visa-free entry by their citizens.
Speaking in an interview, Sean Mendis applauded Ghana for its performance in the 2021 Henley Passport Index. Ghana ranked 77th out of 199 passports in the 2021 Henley Passport Index. He further said negotiating treaties with more African countries and making them visa-free and vice-versa will be a good start to move the country higher the rankings.
“The main way we’ll be able to do that is by negotiating treaties for reciprocal access…
“That should be the kind of treaty Ghana should be pushing for. Ghana has some in place but obviously, some of these treaties will go a long way to help Ghana’s ranking.”Sean Mendis, Aviation Analyst.
Citing an example, he further explained the advantages of such treaties between two countries. He said Ghana and India, for instance, could agree to sign such treaties. With that, Indians could have free access to Ghana whereas Ghanaians could also have free access to India.
The 2021 Henley Passport Index
In the 2021 Henley Passport Index, Ghana ranks the 77th position out of 199 passports . The index was compiled by Henley and Partners which regularly monitors the world’s most travel-friendly passports since 2006.
Per the latest rankings and analysis, having a Ghanaian passport gives one access to 65 visa-free destinations including Jamaica, Singapore, Guyana, Tanzania; and 162 visa-required destinations including New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and Finland.
Nigeria places 95th with access to 46 visa-free destinations and 181 visa-required destinations. Japan holds the first position with its passport offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 destinations around the world. Singapore remains in second place (with a score of 192) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 191).
The UK and the US shared the number one spot back in 2014. However, their passport strengths have steadily eroded in the years since. They’re currently in joint seventh place, alongside Switzerland, Belgium and New Zealand.
Henley & Partner’s list is one of several indexes created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. Henley and Partners updates the index in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
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