significantly to the sustainable use of natural resources and the establishment of an enabling
environment that addresses social issues such as job creation, poverty reduction, and improved
science and technology. However, as a result of these space activities, some African countries
have recently been the victims of unguided booster landings by other countries. Because of the
nature of these activities, some ground rules must be established to facilitate the peaceful use of
To that end, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Activities (UNOOSA) adopted a
resolution in 1961 calling for the peaceful use of outer space, and the Outer Space Treaty was
signed in 1967. More importantly, the treaty's Article VI encourages state responsibility in outer
space. The UNOOSA guidelines also encourage many countries to enact, amend, or revise
regulations governing space-related activities. This set a precedent for all countries to follow in
enacting their space laws.
In comparison to other continents, Africa has had a nascent Space experience in recent years,
with only 21 African countries having a space program as of August 2021. Regardless, the
continent's space market is experiencing a rapid increase in space activities. Telecommunications
companies, for example, have increased the use of space. Significantly, the African Union
continues to make significant progress in space matters. It recently implemented the African
Space Policy and Strategy.
The African State Policy, which consists of six policy principles, was implemented to address the
continent's political, economic, social, environmental, and economic challenges, as well as to
facilitate the development of indigenous space capacities in both the private and public sectors.
Addressing user needs, accessing space services, developing the regional market, implementing
good governance and management, coordinating the African space arena, and promoting
international cooperation are among the policies. The space strategy, on the other hand, includes
measures aimed at meeting the continent's needs through outer space.
As a result, the majority of African countries have signed five UN space treaties governing outer
space activities. The Outer Space Treaty, the Rescue Agreement, the Registration Convention,
the Liability Convention, and the Moon Agreement are among them. At the African Union's
30th ordinary session meeting in 2018, member states adopted the Statute of The African
Space Agency, recognizing the need to take space policy and security seriously.
Furthermore, individual countries have enacted national space laws. Among these are Nigeria's
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA) Act, South Africa's Space
Affairs Act, and Egypt's Space Agency Law. Ghana is also working toward enacting a National
Space Law. Most African countries, like their foreign counterparts, have implemented a
licensing system in response to the growing activities of private enterprises in outer space.
Because countries are held accountable internationally for their national space activities, even if
they are steered by private entities, a license must be obtained before any entity can engage in
any space-related activity. Another common feature of African national legislation on outer
space is the provision on liability, which states that any liability incurred by the country
internationally will be borne by the entity conducting the space activity.
Finally, space law in Africa is still in its infancy. A continental struggle to ensure individual
countries' national space laws is required. African countries' cooperation will also ensure the
continent's legal regime's success. It is assumed that with an impressive legal framework, space
activities will remain peaceful and science and technology will thrive.
Yahaya Moshood Kolawole is a 5th-year law student passionate about Legal research, Corporate law, FinTech Law, and Tax law. He can be contacted via: [email protected]