Somalia’s passport is more powerful than those of Ethiopia, Djibouti

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Somalia – a country that is slowly recovering from more than two decades of civil war – surprisingly has a better passport than some of its neighbors in the Horn of Africa.

Financial advisory firm Arton Capital has put together a ranking of the world’s most powerful passports. The rankings are calculated by how many countries the passport holders can visit without a visa, or by getting one upon arrival.

Somalia’s passport ranks 78th place out of 80, giving passport holders access to 39 countries without an advanced visa. It ranks higher than Ethiopia, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.

The U.S. and U.K. passports rank number one, which give citizens of those countries access to 147 countries without an advanced visa.

Countries with the weakest passports are Solomon Islands, Myanmar, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe and Palestine. They rank in 80th place, giving access to just 20 countries each without an advance visa.

Kenya, which ranks 50th place, has the most powerful passport among the countries in East Africa, followed by Tanzania (57), Uganda (60), Sudan (70) Rwanda (74) and Burundi at 77.

Since 2012, Somalia’s government has launched a new era of diplomatic relations with foreign countries. It has since reopened embassies that have been closed since 1991.

With improving security conditions in Somalia, many countries such as the United Kingdom, China, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have appointed ambassadors to Somalia and reopened their embassies in Mogadishu.

The United States also has launched a new era of diplomatic relations with Somalia after it officially recognized Somalia’s government in January 2013 for the first time since 1991.

In February, President Barack Obama nominated United States’ first ambassador to Somalia since the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Mogadishu in 1993.

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