Nigeria and Rwanda, on Tuesday, became the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords.
The Artemis Accords are a series of non-binding multilateral agreements between the United States government and other world governments participating in the Artemis Programme, an American-led effort to return humans to the moon by 2025, with the ultimate goal of expanding space exploration to Mars and beyond,
According to a statement released by the US Department of State, the signing took place at the maiden US-Africa Space Forum, where participants discussed how to further shared goals through the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.
This formed part of the ongoing US-Africa Leaders Summit, which started on Tuesday in the US capital, Washington DC.
“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.
It was 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 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.
The Accords now boast 23 signatories representing a diverse set of space interests and capabilities.
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