The focus of the second citizenship industry is seemingly fixated on the massive Asian (specifically Chinese) and middle Eastern markets, and often overlooks Africa, and specifically those high net worth individuals who hail from energy rich nations like South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Angola, all of whom possess uniformly weak passports.
Africa has by far and away more countries with poorly performing passports than any other continent on the globe. If one takes a look at 2ndPassports.com’s World Passport Rankings, it’s easy to see that the top end of the rankings is dominated by passports from EU countries like those of Germany, Sweden, the UK, Spain and France as well as from North America and Australasia, plus countries like Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. In general, these nations have passports with visa free access to around 170 countries. In comparison, the best performing African passport by far is that of South Africa, which has access to a solid if unspectacular 98 countries visa free, placing it way down the rankings at number 55.
Why A Passport’s Power Is Important
As any individual with even a basic knowledge of the second citizenship industry knows, the common goal for anybody entering into either a citizenship by investment (CBI) or a Golden Visa residency program is to ultimately become a citizen and passport holder of a chosen country, whether the process takes one year or less – as is the case with most CBI programs – or a minimum of five years, which is about the going rate for permanent residency or Golden visa programs.
The bottom line is the attainment of a passport which is far more powerful than the investor’s original one, guaranteeing them a greater level of freedom of movement thus opening up the possibilities before expanding their businesses. To ensure this, an investor will normally pursue a passport from an EU country, or even a Caribbean island nation. In general EU passports have visa free access to at least 160 countries. Caribbean passports are normally good for around 130 countries which will usually include those of North America and the European Union, but have the added bonus of granting the investor’s citizenship to a nation that is a guaranteed tax haven.
The largest group of investors in the second citizenship market comes from China, a country of vast wealth, seemingly limitless resources, and more millionaires and billionaires than anywhere else, but one that is still under the control of a communist government, and whose passport is among the poorest performing in the world, with access to just 51 countries.
If you are coming to this article a little green as to the specific meaning of terms such as “passport power” and “visa-free travel”, a passports power is rated by the amount of countries it can access visa free, and the Chinese passport only allows its owner access to 51 countries without the holder needing to apply for a visa to enter a country. For example, in China’s case, the passport holder would need to apply for a visa in order to enter countries within North and South America, almost all of Africa, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, much of Asia and all of Australasia. Ironically, one of the few areas where a Chinese passport has visa free access is the Caribbean, no doubt because the offshore banks there are only too happy to do business with rich Chinese investors!
As a result, pretty much every second citizenship and investor visa program on the market today has more applicants from China than any other nation. Many also receive high numbers of applicants from Russia, India and the Middle East, but surprisingly few from Africa.
It is puzzling as to why there is not more interest from rich Africans who have made their fortunes in the minerals and energy markets, but are at the mercy of often corrupt governments, and as a result should be looking to new horizons in Europe to expand their business profiles, or even just invest in some quality real estate, and be rewarded with second citizenship and a world-class passport in return.
Top-Ten African Countries By Number Of Millionaires (And Billionaires If Appropriate)
Below is a list of the ten African countries with the most millionaires. South Africa is far from the largest country on the list, and its GDP is less than half that of Egypt, and yet it has almost twice as many millionaires as its closest rival (Egypt.)
- South Africa – 55,000 millionaires, seven billionaires. Population 55 million, GDP $400 billion, industries include minerals, mining, energy, technology and tourism.
- South African Passport Power: visa-free access to 98 countries, world ranking 55th
- Egypt – 25,000 millionaires, eight billionaires. Population 93 million, GDP $1 trillion, industries include agriculture, minerals, industry, energy and tourism.
- Egyptian Passport Power: visa-free access to 48 countries, world ranking 88th
- Nigeria – 16,500 millionaires, five billionaires. Population 181 million, GDP $0.5 trillion, industries include agriculture, oil, services, mining, energy and tourism.
- Nigerian Passport Power: visa-free access to 44 countries, world ranking 91st
- Kenya – 9,000 millionaires. Population 46 million, GDP $146 billion, industries include mining, forestry, fishing, agriculture, energy and tourism.
- Kenyon Passport Power: visa-free access to 69 countries, world ranking 68th
- Tunisia – 7,000 millionaires. Population 11 million, GDP $124 billion, industries include tourism, services, electricity and agriculture.
- Tunisian Passport Power: visa-free access to 63 countries, world ranking 73rd
- Angola – 7,200 millionaires, one billionaire. Population 25 million, GDP $130 billion, industries include minerals, oil, agriculture and services.
- Angolan Passport Power: visa-free access to 45 countries, world ranking 90th
- Tanzania – 7,000 millionaires, two billionaires. Population 51 million, GDP $47 billion, industries include mining, agriculture, natural gas, construction.
- Tanzanian Passport Power: visa-free access to 65 countries, world ranking 72nd
- Libya – 6,000 millionaires. Population 6.3 million, GDP $42 billion, industries include oil and services.
- Libyan Passport Power: visa-free access to 33 countries, world ranking 99th
- Morocco – 5,000 millionaires, three billionaires. Population 34.4 million, GDP $146 billion, industries include phosphates, rock mining and processing, technology, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism.
- Moroccan Passport Power: visa-free access to 58 countries, world ranking 78th
- Algeria – 4,500 millionaires, one billionaire. Population 39.7 million, GDP $552 billion, industries include agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
- Algerian Passport Power: visa-free access to 48 countries, world ranking 88th
Clearly there are plenty of millionaires within the continent of Africa, as well as several billionaires. Thanks to Africa’s abundance of natural resources including oil, gas and minerals, plus China’s massive involvement in Africa which will only result in the continent collectively taking greater strides to develop those resources, the number of millionaires and indeed billionaires is only going to increase.
The passports of the countries featured on the above list are uniformly weak, with only South Africa’s tally of 98 visa-free countries approaching respectability. However, the remaining nine countries – particularly Libya – have embarrassingly bad passports that will severely limit the freedom of movement of their owners when it comes to international wheeling and dealing, and travelling in general. It’s time for wealthy, successful African businesspeople to take a leaf out of the books of investors from China and the Middle East and take steps towards securing their future by investing in second citizenship and a strong, powerful passport.
If you are an African citizen, and reading this article has opened your mind to the possibility of a new and far more powerful passport than the one you are used to, and you are becoming aware of what a difference it would make to both your business options and your life in general, we are ready to help you take the next step.
If you visit our homepage you will see a large selection of the very best residency and citizenship programs from the EU, the Caribbean plus many other parts of the world. We can advise you on the programs that will best suit you, and help you make the right choice.
Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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