South Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius among the top 3 nationalities in Africa. Picture: Supplied.

South Africa’s quality of nationality gained two places in the Kälin and Kochenov’s Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), the only ranking that objectively measures and ranks all the world’s nationalities as legal statuses. 

Rising to 85th position out of 159 in 2018, South Africa scored 35%, its highest score since 2011 when the QNI was first launched, placing it in the Medium Quality tier of nationalities for the first time.

According to a statement released by Henley & Partners, the South African nationality’s improved performance in 2018 can be attributed to its high Travel Freedom score, as South African nationals enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 100 destinations according to the Henley Passport Index. “By contrast, South Africa has a low Settlement Freedom score, particularly when compared to West African countries that are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),” the statement revealed. 

Best and worst African nationalities

African nationalities have seen some positive moves in the latest QNI General Ranking. Algeria, Eswatini, Kenya, and Morocco each climbed by five or more spots since 2017. “These advancements are positive for the continent, and the catalysts come from within the African continent itself,” the statement explained. 

With Seychelles continuing to hold the top spot in Africa, Mauritius remains in 2nd position on the continent and 55th position overall with a score of 45.2%, with South Africa in 3rd place. The bottom three African nationalities are the Central African Republic (154th), South Sudan (157th), and Somalia (159th), with scores of 17.6%, 15.9% and 13.8%, respectively.

Gabon has been the clear leader in the region since 2011, currently ranked 121st with a score of 26.8%. Kenya moved up by an impressive six places to 120th position with a score of 26.9%, reflecting improvements in its domestic and international affairs. Kenya was just behind Tanzania, which scored 27.0% in 119th position. Uganda scored 35.1% and ranks 3rd in the EAC and 130th overall.