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US, African Partners Strengthen Collaboration on Sustainable Use of Outer Space

Space exploration

US, African Partners Strengthen Collaboration on Sustainable Use of Outer Space

The U.S. and several African nations have agreed to deepen and expand their space partnership and collaborate to promote the peaceful use and exploration of outer space.

As part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, a space forum was held on Tuesday in which officials from Nigeria and Rwanda signed the U.S.-led Artemis Accords, which promotes sustainable space exploration, affirms the importance of implementing best practices and norms of responsible behavior, and strengthens the implementation of key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

Nigeria and Rwanda are the first African signatories of the Artemis Accords, the White House said.

Several U.S. companies have made new investments in the U.S.-Africa partnership, including Atlas Space Operations, which partnered with the Rwanda Space Agency to develop a teleport and a large satellite antenna for the global space community; Planet Labs, which will provide Kenyan company ZEP-RE with satellite imagery to support a drought risk protection initiative in the Horn of Africa; and SpaceX’s Starlink, which has activated its satellite internet service in Nigeria in support of the country’s goal to provide broadband access to all its citizens by 2025.

The U.S.-Africa partnership also includes supporting the efforts of African governments and institutions to address climate change. “Many of the most vulnerable countries to climate change are in Africa, and the partnerships highlighted at the Summit will be essential to bolstering their resilience,” the White House said.

As part of the strengthened collaboration, the U.S. will invest $100 million in Power Africa in the fiscal year 2023 to support its renewable projects, in addition to the $193 million the Biden-Harris administration invested earlier. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development, meanwhile, will provide $10 million to African facilities and funds that support the development of large-scale climate solutions.

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Category: Space