Nigeria and Rwanda Signs NASA Artemis Accord

Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African states to sign the Artemis Accords during the first-ever US-Africa Space Forum. Participants in the Forum, which was part of the United States-Africa Leaders Summit, explored how to advance shared goals through peaceful exploration and usage of outer space.

The Artemis Accords are a broad, non-binding framework outlining agreements for responsible, peaceful international moon exploration. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced the inclusion of Nigeria and Rwanda in this agreement on the first day of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, of which the inaugural space forum was a part.

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According to Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator, “the Artemis Accord is all about what we should do peacefully in space, signalling the intention to help each other out, standardisation of instruments so we can come to each other aids when there is a problem”. 

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The Accords were signed by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ali Ibrahim on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and by Rwanda Space Agency CEO Francis Ngabo on behalf of the Republic of Rwanda. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina, and U.S. National Space Council Executive Secretary Chirag Parikh gave remarks at the event.

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The Artemis Accords provide a bold, multilateral vision for the future of space travel. The Artemis Accords, launched in 2020 by the State Department, NASA, and eight countries, advance bilateral and multilateral space cooperation among signatories, enhancing our understanding of the universe and global prosperity. Signatories agree to abide by certain norms that will direct their civil space activities, such as the open dissemination of scientific information, responsible debris abatement, registration of space objects, and the creation and use of interoperability standards.

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There are currently 23 signatories to the Accords, who come from every continent and represent a wide range of space interests and capabilities. Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all signed the Artemis Accords as a sign of their commitment to the peaceful, responsible, and sustainable use of space. These countries are also leading the global discussion on the future of space exploration.