Cape Town - Proudly South African, a brand in itself, this means many things to different people. With Freedom Day long weekend looming, it's in the hearts and minds of many as we weigh the path our country has taken since our first democratic elections back in 1994.
SEE: 10 Ways to celebrate Freedom Day in SA
Nationalities, shaped by religion to sport to more structured means such as passport power, makes the first Henley & Partners'Quality of Nationality Index both interesting and perplexing at the same time - especially when you look at the rise and fall of some countries and who the top nationalities of the world are.
It explores both the internal factors - such as economic strength, human development, and peace and stability- and the external factors - including visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad without cumbersome formalities.
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Henley says the results are through cooperation between the residence and citizenship planning agency and Professor Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional law professor with a long-standing interest in European and comparative citizenship law.
of Nationality Index shows South Africa’s quality of
nationality scored a "sound 32.8% out of a possible 100%". Ranked 92nd, the
country has maintained its nationality rating of Medium Quality, states Henley
At a broader end of the scale it could be seen as an index that showcases imbalance - defining what makes one nationality better than another in terms of a legal status through which to develop your talents and business. Henley does however acknowledge that the reality the QNI describes is "regrettable".
"In the majority of circumstances, our nationality plays an important role in establishing a highly irrational ceiling for our opportunities and aspirations, reflecting the core aspect of being a national of some place, which is a random consequence of birth boasting no correlation with a person’s achievements, ideas, feelings, and desires — ‘a birthright lottery’, to use Ayelet Shachar’s memorable phrase."
"This is something that the creators of the Index do not endorse, but rather observe as part of the day-to-day reality that the Index aims to document. The QNI is the source of a dynamic understanding of the quality of world nationalities, measured by a set of clear and transparent criteria."
South Africa ranks in the top three African nations together with Seychelles and Mauritius in first and second spot respectively. However, it is Morocco which is showing healthy growth as a Nationality on the rise.
Henley says the QNI will be of interest to anyone who is curious about how their nationality in comparison to others as well as financially independent individuals who wish to acquire alternative citizenship."
ALSO SEE: #AfriTravel: SA passport ranks 3rd strongest in Africa but slips in global power
See the full Index report here
See below for more on the African rankings: