Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the Artemis Accords on space cooperation with the US during the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the US-Africa Space Forum in Washington DC.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ali Ibrahim represented Nigeria on Tuesday, while Rwanda Space Agency CEO Francis Ngabo represented Rwanda.
The Artemis Accords, signed by Rwanda and Nigeria, are “a set of principles to guide the next phase in space exploration, reinforcing and providing important operational implementation of key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty”.
The US-Africa Space Forum reaffirmed the US commitment to collaborating with African partners on the peaceful use and exploration of outer space to address shared priorities on Earth.
It also seeks US-Africa partnership and space cooperation for the possibilities and challenges of the 21st century. This includes the global food, biodiversity, and climate crises, responsible space travel, and enhancing US-Africa commercial and scientific space cooperation.
“The [Artemis] Accords affirm the importance of implementing best practices and standards of responsible behavior, as well as compliance with the Registration Convention and the Redemption and Return Agreement,” the White House Briefing Room said in a statement.
The US State Department said:
The Accords now have 23 signatories, spanning all corners of the globe and representing a diverse set of interests and space capabilities.
The other signatories are Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom United.
The Rwandan Space Agency and ATLAS Space Operations will provide the international space community with a sizable teleport and satellite dish.
By 2029, logistics company Zipline will have made more than two million instant deliveries in Rwanda, using spatial data to expand its air logistics services to more government divisions of the country, including health, agriculture, finance, e-commerce and tourism.
With the help of numerous stakeholders, Earth imaging company Planet Labs PBC will invest across Africa to provide daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions that support decision-making around drought risk reduction, forest management and energy sources renewables, among other sustainability, economics, and resource management priorities.
The Kenyan company ZEP-RE recently said it would collaborate with the World Bank to help the Horn of Africa region make informed decisions about the danger of drought using satellite imagery.
Nigeria claimed that Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband service, owned by the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, was now available in the country, making Nigeria the first country in Africa with access to Starlink. Starlink will help Nigeria reach its goal of providing broadband access to all its residents by 2025.