Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African nations to sign space accords with the US on Tuesday to facilitate the return of humans to the moon by 2025.
The signing of the Artemis Accords came on the sidelines of the three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ali Ibrahim and Rwanda Space Agency CEO Francis Ngabo signed the accords during the forum where participants discussed “peaceful exploration” and the “use of outer space,” according to a statement by the White House.
“The Forum highlighted the U.S.-Africa space partnership and cooperation to address 21st century challenges and opportunities, including responding to the climate, biodiversity, and global food crises; promoting responsible behavior in outer space; and reinforcing U.S.-African scientific and commercial space cooperation,” said the White House.
The Artemis Accords are an extension of NASA’s 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by 23 countries since its inception in October 2020.