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Rwanda, Nigeria Join NASA Artemis Space Ambitions

by Daniel Sabiiti
1:12 pm

President Kagame speaks during the U.S-Africa Summit where Rwanda & Nigeria were the first in Africa to sign the Artemis Accords, aimed to return humans to the moon by 2025

Rwanda has signed the Artemis Accords that will enable the country to develop strategic partnerships and new opportunities in the space industry and scientific research.

The Artemis Accords establish a framework to guide responsible, transparent behavior in space with principles to guide the next phase in space exploration, reinforcing and providing for important operational implementation of key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The accords also reinforce the commitment by the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as guidelines and best practices.

The deal signed alongside with Nigeria, was inked on December 13, 2022, on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington DC.

The deal marked Rwanda and Nigeria as the first African countries to sign the accord to join other 21 countries committed to the peaceful and safe exploration of space.

Nigeria and Rwanda become the 22nd and 23rd Nations to sign the Artemis Accords, respectively.

The signing was witnessed President Paul Kagame alongside Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, the National Space Agency (NASA) administrator, Bill Nelson, among other dignitaries.

“Rwanda could not be more pleased to become part of this journey, by joining the Artemis Accords. Space-based technology is becoming an increasingly powerful tool for addressing global challenges, such as agricultural productivity and climate change,” President Kagame said.

NASA is leading the Artemis missions and international partnerships could play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon and venturing into a historic human mission to Mars.

NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson said that space isn’t a national effort but it’s a global one.

“The Artemis Accord is all about what we should do peacefully in space, signaling the intention to help each other out, standardization of instruments so we can come to each other’s aid when there is a problem,” Nelson said.

“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.”

For the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) was established two years ago with an aim of establishing a space research and development center, this deal will enable Rwanda to leverage on its business environment and investments made over the years.

Francis Ngabo, Chief Executive at RSA said the deal reaffirms Rwanda’s commitment to support peaceful, sustainable and responsible space exploration.

Ngabo said that Rwanda’s move to host an increasing number of satellite ground stations and being a go-to filling destination, the country continues to be a reliable partner of choice for space-based valued- added services.

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