Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the Artemis Agreement

Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the Artemis Accord this week during the first ever US-Africa Space Forum.

Artemis Accords is an extensive, non-binding framework that sets out agreements for responsible and peaceful international lunar exploration. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Nigeria and Rwanda’s accession to the agreement on the first day of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington (December 13-15), of which the first Space Forum was part.

The US State Department later issued a statement. (will open in a new tab) to commemorate the accession of Nigeria and Rwanda to the agreement. “Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the Artemis Accord. The participants of the forum, which was part of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, discussed how to advance common goals through the peaceful exploration and use of outer space,” the statement said. is reading.

Related: Artemis Accords: Why an international framework for lunar exploration matters

The agreement was signed by Communications and Digital Economy Minister Isa Ali Ibrahim on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Director General of the Rwandan Space Agency Francis Ngabo on behalf of the Republic of Rwanda, the statement said.

“Signatories commit to uphold the principles of their civil space activities, including the public release of scientific data, responsible debris mitigation, registration of space objects, and the establishment and implementation of interoperability standards,” the State Department said in a statement.

The Artemis Accords were launched jointly by NASA and the US State Department along with eight countries in 2020 with the stated goal of developing bilateral and multilateral space cooperation among the signatories. Nigeria and Rwanda have joined the lunar coalition, which means that currently 23 parties have signed Agreements that set out the principles and best practices for exploration.

The Accords’ name is inspired by NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to have a sustainable human presence on and around the Moon by the end of the 2020s.

The first countries to sign were the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, with South Korea in 2021 becoming the first of many signatories under the Biden administration. Other countries, such as Russia and China, argue that the agreements are too US-centric and represent a power grab by the US and its allies.

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