The Artemis Accords were signed by Nigeria and Rwanda on Tuesday, making them the first African countries to do so.
The Artemis Accords are a collection of non-binding multilateral agreements between the US government and other international governments taking part in the Artemis Programme, an American-led initiative to send people back to the moon by 2025 with the ultimate objective of expanding space exploration to Mars and beyond.Read more
The signing took place at the inaugural US-Africa Space Forum, where participants explored ways to advance shared goals through the peaceful exploration and use of space, according to a statement provided by the US Department of State.
This was a part of the ongoing US-Africa Leaders Summit, which got underway on Tuesday in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States.
“The accords were signed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and by Rwanda Space Agency CEO, Francis Ngabo, on behalf of the Republic of Rwanda,” the statement read in part.
“The Artemis Accords represent a bold, multilateral vision for the future of space exploration. Launched by the State Department and NASA together with eight nations in 2020, the Artemis Accords advance bilateral and multilateral space cooperation between signatories, expanding our knowledge of the universe and benefiting the whole world. Signatories commit to principles to guide 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,” it further noted.
With the addition of these two signatories, 23 nations have affirmed their commitment to transparent, safe, and sustainable space exploration. Through the accords, the signatories are guided by a set of principles that promote the beneficial use of space for all of humanity.
“I’m thrilled Nigeria and Rwanda are committing to the safe, sustainable use of outer space. In an era where more nations than ever have space programs, today’s signings highlight a growing commitment to ensure space exploration is conducted responsibly,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
“As the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords, Nigeria and Rwanda exemplify the global reach of the accords and are demonstrating their leadership in space exploration.”
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