The Africa Visa Openness Index, a system that tracks countries’ visa policies, has ranked the Seychelles as the top African nation for allowing free movement of people across the country’s borders with limited restrictions.
Following Seychelles, are Mali, Uganda, Cape Verde, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Mauritius and Rwanda to make up the top 10.
The report, compiled by the African Development Bank and the African Union, evaluates the visa requirements that governments in all 54 African countries have placed on each other. The data has been collected from immigration ports, visa agencies and travel operators across the continent.
To score a country, the marks range from 0 – 1 (highest) and is split into categories weighted on its degree of openness. For example, a “no visa” result is weighted by 1 (high openness), “visa on arrival” is weighted by 0.8 and a “visa required” by 0.
The higher the country’s score on the Index, the more visa-open it is and the higher it ranks.
With free-movement comes better business, according to the Index report. Allowing business people and traders to move more easily across the continent, thanks to liberal visa policies, helps bring higher levels of investment, fresh skills and expand the range of goods and services on offer.