Nebraska Virtual Space Law Week - ASIL World Speaks Space Series: Africa
Day 2 of the Nebraska Virtual Space Law Week, ASIL World Speaks Space Series: Africa, features panelists Julia Selman Ayetey, Dr. Peter Martinez and Timiebi Aganaba, discuss the future of space in Africa.
icon search Searchable Transcript
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
[00:00:01.310]Well, good afternoon, everybody.
[00:00:02.650]And welcome to University of Nebraska College of Laws,
[00:00:06.940]14th Annual Washington DC Space Law Conference.
[00:00:09.580]We're obviously not in DC in person this year,
[00:00:12.410]like last year due to COVID reasons we're online,
[00:00:15.210]but hoping to be back in DC in person next year
[00:00:18.820]for the 15th Annual Washington DC Space Law Conference.
[00:00:23.020]Today, we have a great session.
[00:00:25.220]It's the American Society of International Law Series,
[00:00:28.030]World Speaks Space.
[00:00:29.130]And we're focused on Africa.
[00:00:31.500]Today, we've had prior sessions
[00:00:34.060]governing Europe, Latin-America,
[00:00:36.570]and Australia and New Zealand.
[00:00:40.000]Each speaker, each panelist
[00:00:41.660]is gonna take about four minutes
[00:00:42.960]for introductory remarks,
[00:00:44.250]and then we're gonna have some moderator questions
[00:00:47.080]and then we'll turn it over to audience Q and A.
[00:00:50.080]So thanks for joining us today.
[00:00:53.480]I'll be joined in a moment here
[00:00:55.620]by my co-moderator, Jess Rogers.
[00:00:58.830]Who's a Legislative and Regulatory Analyst
[00:01:00.980]at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,
[00:01:03.800]and she's also the Vice-Chair
[00:01:05.610]of the ASIL Space Law Interest Group.
[00:01:08.960]Stefan Cartier and I, are current chairs of that.
[00:01:13.520]Our speakers we're really honored to have today,
[00:01:17.540]Dr. Peter Martinez, Executive Director
[00:01:21.240]of the Secure World Foundation
[00:01:22.700]and Former Chairman of the South African Council
[00:01:25.490]for Space Affairs,
[00:01:27.030]which is the national regulatory authority
[00:01:28.850]for space activities in South Africa.
[00:01:31.540]Peter is also Chair of the UN committee
[00:01:33.330]on peaceful uses of outer space.
[00:01:34.850]UN COPUOS working group on long-term sustainability
[00:01:37.670]of outer space activities
[00:01:39.300]that negotiate a set of international consensus guidelines
[00:01:42.540]to promote safety and sustainability of space operations.
[00:01:46.790]Julia Selman Ayetey, Junior Partner
[00:01:50.540]at Ashong Benjamin and Associates.
[00:01:53.240]She's considered a leader in space law and policy in Africa
[00:01:57.460]in part because she's published a number of articles
[00:02:00.780]dealing with space law and the space industry in Africa.
[00:02:05.660]Including a recent publication towards
[00:02:07.670]a competitive African space industry.
[00:02:11.460]So look forward to hearing from Julia as well.
[00:02:13.560]And finally, Timiebi Aganaba,
[00:02:16.850]who's an Assistant Professor of Space and Society
[00:02:19.890]at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
[00:02:22.410]at Arizona State University.
[00:02:25.156]Timiebi also serves on the Advisory Board
[00:02:27.590]for the Space Generation Advisory Council
[00:02:31.340]and supports UN program on space applications in that role.
[00:02:34.660]And she has previously served four years
[00:02:38.900]as a space industry consultant
[00:02:40.940]for leading space analyst firm in Montreal, Canada.
[00:02:44.130]Where she led some projects
[00:02:47.930]for the Canadian Space Agency.
[00:02:50.070]So Peter obviously has some particular expertise
[00:02:52.850]in South Africa.
[00:02:54.180]Julia with Ghana and Timiebi also spent a year
[00:02:58.760]at the Nigerian Space Agency.
[00:03:00.320]So they have a wealth of knowledge,
[00:03:02.430]both on specific countries,
[00:03:04.290]but also for the continent of Africa
[00:03:06.610]in space activities as a whole.
[00:03:08.560]So we're gonna turn to opening statements.
[00:03:10.480]I see Jess has joined us as well.
[00:03:12.530]We'll turn to the moderator questions after that.
[00:03:15.090]We'll give the floor first to Peter.
[00:03:16.910]Peter for four minutes.
[00:03:20.990]Thank you, Matthew, and this kind introduction.
[00:03:23.810]And for inviting me to participate in this panel today,
[00:03:27.660]I'm looking forward to our discussion.
[00:03:29.700]I'm delighted to be sharing the podium
[00:03:31.920]with Timiebi and Julia.
[00:03:33.210]It's great to see you both online
[00:03:34.750]and I'm looking forward to our discussion.
[00:03:37.190]So when one thinks about space and Africa,
[00:03:40.580]I'm reminded of this image of Africa behind me
[00:03:43.580]on the screensaver on the Zoom backdrop.
[00:03:47.670]It's an image that was taken
[00:03:49.040]by one of the Apollo 17 astronauts
[00:03:51.200]on their outbound journey to the moon
[00:03:54.620]in December, 1972.
[00:03:57.060]And this is one of the most iconic images of the space age.
[00:04:00.850]Some would say one of the most
[00:04:03.060]iconic photographs of all time,
[00:04:05.010]and it has been dubbed the blue marble.
[00:04:08.880]And this image is very significant to me
[00:04:11.000]for a couple of reasons.
[00:04:12.160]The first is that I'm actually down there
[00:04:14.380]in that image in one of those pixels
[00:04:16.480]in the bottom left corner of the African continent.
[00:04:19.780]As a child, I grew up in Cape Town in the 1970s
[00:04:22.840]amid the (indistinct) of space exploration
[00:04:25.730]that lingered long after the end of the Apollo era.
[00:04:28.980]And the second reason this image is significant to me
[00:04:31.560]is that this as iconic as this image is
[00:04:35.240]for space exploration.
[00:04:37.010]It depicts the continent that has lagged most
[00:04:39.570]behind the others in space activities for many, many years,
[00:04:43.040]but that situation is rapidly changing.
[00:04:46.510]The continent has some 54 countries,
[00:04:48.640]48 of which are continental states and six island states.
[00:04:53.390]The current population is about 1.4 billion,
[00:04:56.370]and it's expected to grow by another billion
[00:04:59.090]by the year 2050.
[00:05:01.160]And by the way, since we're looking at a planet scale image,
[00:05:05.050]it might be an interesting a side
[00:05:06.560]to mention that the surface area of Africa
[00:05:10.560]is almost as much as the surface area of the moon's.
[00:05:13.140]Africa is a big place.
[00:05:15.000]But getting back to Africa's population,
[00:05:17.620]Africa is also the world's most youthful continent
[00:05:20.900]and African youth are really excited about space
[00:05:23.860]and want to be a part of it.
[00:05:25.430]And they appreciate the role of space
[00:05:27.400]in supporting Africa's development.
[00:05:30.510]I started giving talks on space activities in Africa
[00:05:32.880]about 10 years ago.
[00:05:34.050]And for the first few years,
[00:05:36.570]the talk just needed a few updates.
[00:05:39.670]But in recent years, the pace of developments
[00:05:43.830]has accelerated rapidly and it would take us
[00:05:46.510]the entire time allocated for this webinar
[00:05:49.240]just to catalog what's happening.
[00:05:52.920]We've also seen the emergence of platforms
[00:05:55.310]like Space in Africa, on the internet.
[00:05:58.370]This is run by Timidayo Oniosun,
[00:06:01.590]and for those of you who are interested
[00:06:03.360]in African space affairs,
[00:06:05.020]I can recommend his platform is a good place to start.
[00:06:09.100]But I want to just remark on what I see
[00:06:12.480]as an exciting confluence of several trends.
[00:06:15.220]Firstly, we have, as you know,
[00:06:17.750]a globally, a rapidly expanding commercial space sector.
[00:06:22.260]Which is fueled by a lowering of financial
[00:06:25.600]and technological barriers to space activities.
[00:06:28.500]This has allowed access to non-traditional,
[00:06:31.460]non-governmental sources of capital and funding.
[00:06:35.210]We're also seeing a great penetration of ICTs in Africa,
[00:06:38.540]which means greater access to literature, ideas,
[00:06:42.380]and networking from other parts of the world
[00:06:44.400]than was ever possible in the past.
[00:06:46.680]And then also, as I mentioned,
[00:06:48.300]that youthful generation that is adaptive
[00:06:50.490]to making use of these tools
[00:06:52.720]and wants to make a real contribution
[00:06:55.030]to Africa's development and the development
[00:06:57.140]of space in Africa.
[00:06:58.890]So, together these factors will help
[00:07:01.930]to shape the evolution of the space arena
[00:07:04.560]on the African continent, over the coming years.
[00:07:08.240]We can expect to see many new actors emerging
[00:07:12.580]and not all of them may understand
[00:07:14.460]that they are entering an increasingly congested,
[00:07:17.700]fragile and strategic domain.
[00:07:20.730]And traditionally the lack of access
[00:07:22.650]to technology and finance have been among the reasons
[00:07:26.210]most often cited by experts to explain Africa
[00:07:29.770]lagging behind the other regions
[00:07:31.550]in its ability to harness space technology.
[00:07:34.420]But I think the fulcrum is now shifting
[00:07:37.010]to governance and regulation.
[00:07:39.100]And I see those challenges as perhaps bigger
[00:07:42.020]than the technological or financial challenges.
[00:07:45.710]Fortunately, I think Africa's youth
[00:07:47.610]is up to meeting these challenges.
[00:07:49.630]And so while I have concerns
[00:07:51.290]about the regulatory and policy challenges
[00:07:53.770]of the global space arena,
[00:07:56.100]and more specifically the African space arena,
[00:07:59.490]I'm confident that the emerging African space law experts
[00:08:03.210]have more than enough talent
[00:08:04.870]to meet these challenges.
[00:08:06.480]And so with that, I'll conclude my opening remarks
[00:08:08.970]and hand it back to our moderator.
[00:08:11.500]Thank you, and I look forward to our discussion.
[00:08:14.840]Great, thank you very much, Peter,
[00:08:16.010]for that that opening and that perspective.
[00:08:18.450]We'll turn next to Julia
[00:08:20.330]and I'll share a slide Julia has,
[00:08:22.980]as she gives her four minutes of opening remarks.
[00:08:27.620]Good evening to everyone from here in Ghana.
[00:08:30.810]I'm very, very humbled to be a part of this panel discussion
[00:08:35.680]with Peter and Timiebi.
[00:08:37.250]So thank you to Matthew and Jessica
[00:08:39.620]and the University of Nebraska for the invitation.
[00:08:45.250]Just my opening remarks on current or a history,
[00:08:49.910]a brief history of space activities,
[00:08:52.720]or space milestones in Ghana.
[00:08:55.980]If we go all the way back to 1973,
[00:08:59.380]it can be said that
[00:09:02.660]Ghana's interest in space
[00:09:05.570]or knowledge of space activities
[00:09:08.470]and science and technology was led
[00:09:11.300]by one of its sons, Professor Francis Allotey.
[00:09:14.740]Who developed the Allotey formulism,
[00:09:17.490]which was used by NASA to launch
[00:09:19.750]some of its spacecraft early on.
[00:09:22.530]And then if we fast forward to 2013, Ghana joined
[00:09:28.080]the Committee On the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
[00:09:31.330]And during the same year, it established
[00:09:34.293]a Ghana Space Science and Technology Center.
[00:09:38.150]That center is now an Institute.
[00:09:43.170]And in 2014, a private ground station
[00:09:48.480]made contact with the international space station.
[00:09:54.690]And it was the first country
[00:09:58.620]in Sub-Saharan Africa
[00:10:01.260]to launch an educational satellite.
[00:10:05.050]And that came with the efforts of students
[00:10:08.490]Ghanaian students at a private university
[00:10:11.130]called All Nations University.
[00:10:13.200]They have a space science laboratory,
[00:10:18.250]a space systems laboratory,
[00:10:19.840]and three students there,
[00:10:21.500]in conjunction with some partners in Japan,
[00:10:25.970]built Ghana's first satellite, the GhanaSat-1.
[00:10:29.260]Which was launched on the Falcon9, SpaceXs.
[00:10:35.620]And it was launched from the Kennedy Space Center,
[00:10:40.180]During that same year, the president,
[00:10:42.803]Nana Akufo-Addo launched the Radio Astronomy Observatory.
[00:10:48.320]And at that time he made a statement saying
[00:10:51.940]that Ghana had big plans for our space development program.
[00:10:57.070]One of those plans was supposed to be
[00:10:59.950]a national space data center.
[00:11:02.830]Now, I'm aware that a national data center
[00:11:06.920]has indeed been established.
[00:11:09.690]What is less clear is the science aspect of that data
[00:11:13.410]is the space aspect of that data center.
[00:11:15.720]So, it's still not clear whether it's being used
[00:11:19.120]for satellite data images management.
[00:11:23.110]Perhaps I'll be able to dig up some information on that
[00:11:26.340]in the near future.
[00:11:28.850]Moving on to 2018,
[00:11:31.440]Ghana was one of the countries that submitted a bid
[00:11:34.230]to host the headquarters of the African Space Agency.
[00:11:39.500]Now, unfortunately, that bid was unsuccessful,
[00:11:43.010]not due to the content of the bid,
[00:11:45.370]but for administrative reasons,
[00:11:46.950]which is quite unfortunate.
[00:11:49.380]But nevertheless, we move on and a few space projects
[00:11:53.010]have been started or were started a few years ago
[00:11:56.719]on the back of that unsuccessful bid.
[00:12:00.760]One of which is AFCONSAT,
[00:12:03.440]and that is another project being led
[00:12:06.420]by All Nations University's Space Systems Laboratory.
[00:12:11.360]That is a project of seven different countries,
[00:12:15.390]engineers from seven different African countries
[00:12:18.140]who are working together to build satellites,
[00:12:21.220]to try and alleviate some of the common problems
[00:12:24.470]that African countries have.
[00:12:28.870]Afribition is very ambitious as its name indicates.
[00:12:33.630]That is a multi-stakeholder initiative
[00:12:37.740]to get Ghana and Africa to join
[00:12:43.268]the race to the moon.
[00:12:45.860]So we have to keep an eye on that
[00:12:47.410]and see what what's in store.
[00:12:49.600]In terms of the future,
[00:12:51.630]they are working on GhanaSat-2.
[00:12:54.380]This will be for environmental purposes.
[00:12:56.920]The plan at the moment is for the GhanaSat-2,
[00:13:00.500]to monitor illegal fishing,
[00:13:05.269]to monitor illegal fishing,
[00:13:08.640]deforestation, water pollution,
[00:13:12.090]and as well as mining,
[00:13:13.840]which is what they call (foreign word) here in Ghana.
[00:13:16.440]It's a big scorch,
[00:13:18.110]and it's hope that the images from GhanaSat-2
[00:13:21.680]will help the authorities
[00:13:23.600]to monitor and address those issues.
[00:13:27.590]Now, I won't talk too much about the spaceport,
[00:13:31.030]'cause I think that is something that we'll discuss later.
[00:13:34.090]But the question remains whether Ghana or Africa as a whole
[00:13:40.280]can and should have an operational spaceport.
[00:13:43.970]And I look forward to discussing that a little bit later on.
[00:13:50.270]Thanks, Julia so much for that overview
[00:13:51.880]of Ghana's space activities and the history.
[00:13:55.230]Let's turn to Timiebi,
[00:13:57.610]who can fill us in on Nigerian activities
[00:14:01.990]as well as other other countries on the continent.
[00:14:04.868]Timiebi, the floor's yours for four minutes.
[00:14:07.430]Awesome, thank you so much.
[00:14:08.730]It is my honor and my pleasure to be here today.
[00:14:11.000]Thank you for the invitation.
[00:14:12.690]My opening remarks are gonna be focused on two areas
[00:14:15.190]that I think are important.
[00:14:16.350]What are the applications that are being utilized in Africa?
[00:14:19.810]And what are the challenges
[00:14:20.960]that have come from international partnerships?
[00:14:23.330]So as Dr. Martinez highlighted
[00:14:25.290]Space in Africa has been doing some significant work
[00:14:28.040]that really putting some numbers behind
[00:14:29.730]what's going on in Africa.
[00:14:30.930]So according to the African Space Industry's annual report,
[00:14:34.040]the 2020 edition, as of July 2020,
[00:14:36.320]11 countries in Africa has launched satellites
[00:14:39.520]and 19 African countries have established
[00:14:41.750]or began the process of creating a space program
[00:14:44.580]to take advantage of space applications.
[00:14:47.490]So in the African context,
[00:14:48.510]we're really talking about when we say space,
[00:14:50.980]because people like, what do you mean by space?
[00:14:52.810]You talking about astronauts going to the moon,
[00:14:54.970]we're talking about the applications.
[00:14:56.750]So currently the most prolific use of satellites in Africa
[00:14:59.670]is for earth observation or remote sensing.
[00:15:02.120]So African uses primarily utilized EO
[00:15:05.390]for environmental monitoring and resource management.
[00:15:08.410]And these satellites basically gather information
[00:15:10.680]about the nature and condition
[00:15:11.800]of the land, the sea, the atmosphere
[00:15:13.850]with sensors in the satellites
[00:15:15.130]detecting and observing temperature, composition,
[00:15:17.530]wind direction, speed, and other environmental conditions.
[00:15:20.540]But according to Digital Earth Africa,
[00:15:22.730]a continental scale data infrastructure
[00:15:25.170]that democratizes the capacity
[00:15:27.440]to process and analyze satellite data,
[00:15:29.640]considerable benefits can result in the use of this data
[00:15:32.360]for sustainable development.
[00:15:33.820]Particularly in the area of boosting agriculture
[00:15:36.090]and supporting mining operations.
[00:15:38.250]And then of course, satellite communications
[00:15:40.060]play a vital role providing communication links,
[00:15:43.270]namely voice, video, and data.
[00:15:46.030]Communication by satellite is considered a better option
[00:15:48.720]compared to fiber in unconnected areas
[00:15:51.420]or during natural disasters
[00:15:53.330]where the existing connectivity is slow,
[00:15:55.750]or there are long install leads times.
[00:15:58.140]So satellites are basically used
[00:15:59.630]by three major enterprise categories
[00:16:01.530]in Africans telecommunication sector,
[00:16:03.300]the telephone carriers, the internet service providers
[00:16:06.190]and corporate networks.
[00:16:07.440]And then of course, GPS or global navigation
[00:16:10.340]for precise positioning navigation and timing
[00:16:13.040]are the most ubiquitous.
[00:16:14.530]This is an invisible application,
[00:16:16.100]but critical infrastructures,
[00:16:17.510]such as power grids, communication system
[00:16:19.830]and banking operations benefit from this.
[00:16:22.270]So these are the applications
[00:16:24.360]that Africa really is focused on.
[00:16:26.280]Now with respect to international partnerships,
[00:16:28.690]these have been and continue to be fundamental
[00:16:31.860]to developing space competency
[00:16:33.830]and gaining the benefits of space.
[00:16:36.150]Capacity building programs known as
[00:16:38.290]Know How Technology Transfer or KHTT programs
[00:16:43.010]have been the norm within the initial
[00:16:45.310]earth observation satellite joint development programs
[00:16:48.583]So for instance in the Nigeria context,
[00:16:50.660]we worked with Surrey satellites in the US
[00:16:52.950]for this Know How Technology Transfer program,
[00:16:55.560]but there are many lessons learned from these programs
[00:16:57.740]that I think is relevant to a US audience.
[00:17:00.380]According to authors Segget and et al,
[00:17:03.620]the business model for many of these programs
[00:17:06.080]did not support training success
[00:17:08.530]as the host only have a business case
[00:17:10.660]during the training program.
[00:17:12.590]So I think even though historically the US private sector
[00:17:16.160]has expressed minimal interest
[00:17:17.670]in partnering with African countries
[00:17:19.680]and American policymakers have done little
[00:17:21.680]to drum up support to increase US
[00:17:23.617]and Africa space cooperation.
[00:17:25.730]I think that there's a lot of room for collaborations
[00:17:28.860]in the future for America and US entities
[00:17:31.580]bearing in mind that those
[00:17:33.370]Know How Technology Transfer programs
[00:17:35.640]have not really been utilized to the best.
[00:17:38.430]There are some examples say for instance,
[00:17:40.170]with Japan in Rwanda and possibly
[00:17:43.390]the example that Julia just gave in Ghana
[00:17:45.550]that may have been successful,
[00:17:46.830]but there's still a lot of room for collaborations.
[00:17:49.230]And I think Africa is open to that.
[00:17:53.120]Great, thank you so much Timiebi.
[00:17:54.660]And we also thank the American branch
[00:17:58.170]of International Law Association Space Law Committee
[00:18:01.010]for co-sponsoring this session, ASIL session today.
[00:18:07.400]Well, the opening statements
[00:18:09.070]have really given us a good flavor
[00:18:10.500]for the space activities amongst African countries,
[00:18:14.120]and they certainly are growing.
[00:18:15.410]I've seen the statistic that 114 satellites
[00:18:19.630]are being planned by 20 countries.
[00:18:21.760]So, I thought we move on to talk more
[00:18:24.500]about the national space legislation
[00:18:27.380]and regulation of space activities in South Africa.
[00:18:30.470]We've heard about the activities.
[00:18:34.128]Here in the US we have a siloed approach
[00:18:35.990]to regulating space and forgive me,
[00:18:38.860]my dog is barking here.
[00:18:43.300]We have a siloed approach
[00:18:44.460]whereby launches regulated by FAA, AST.
[00:18:49.130]Spectrum usage by the Federal Communications Commission,
[00:18:51.800]FCC and remote sensing through the NOAA
[00:18:55.500]at the Department of Commerce.
[00:18:57.230]So that's pretty atypical
[00:18:58.500]to have a siloed approach like that.
[00:19:00.040]But I thought we get comments maybe starting with Julia,
[00:19:02.780]and then turning to Timiebi, and then to Peter,
[00:19:05.580]on what does national space legislation and regulation
[00:19:09.750]look like in African countries?
[00:19:17.460]Well, Ghana has neither a national space policy
[00:19:22.720]nor a comprehensive specific legislation
[00:19:28.630]governing traditional or emerging uses of space.
[00:19:34.030]That being said there are related laws
[00:19:38.170]and policies in existence.
[00:19:40.140]So for example, we have
[00:19:41.710]the Electronic Communications Act of 2008,
[00:19:45.870]which amongst other things deals with licensing
[00:19:49.510]for radio frequency spectrum,
[00:19:52.370]which is used for telecommunications.
[00:19:55.200]There is also the National Space Science Technology
[00:19:59.940]and Innovation Policy,
[00:20:01.700]which is generally updated every three years.
[00:20:05.650]And it's for a duration of a three-year period.
[00:20:09.410]However, the one which was for 2017 to 2020,
[00:20:14.740]did not, as far as I could tell,
[00:20:16.500]include any reference to space laws
[00:20:20.050]or the need for national governance or policies.
[00:20:25.370]There is apparently I've been saying this
[00:20:27.500]for several years now,
[00:20:28.720]there is apparently a draft space law.
[00:20:32.070]Which has been reviewed
[00:20:35.540]by the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute.
[00:20:39.300]However, that draft law has not been published
[00:20:42.620]for consultation and I've not been able to get a copy.
[00:20:47.160]But apparently there is one floating around
[00:20:49.340]in the Ministry of Science somewhere.
[00:20:52.870]So that's where we are right now.
[00:21:00.140]Sorry, so the Nigerian context
[00:21:02.400]is actually very interesting.
[00:21:04.130]We established a space agency in 1999,
[00:21:08.150]and then we establish a national space policy in 2001.
[00:21:12.470]We launched our first earth observation satellite in 2003.
[00:21:16.400]And then we launched a communication satellite in 2007.
[00:21:20.550]And then in 2010, we had a national space law
[00:21:24.520]establishing the agency.
[00:21:25.970]So we kind of, you know,
[00:21:27.710]piecemeal did things first and then put up the framework.
[00:21:30.930]And it's a very comprehensive framework,
[00:21:33.520]which essentially works on the main thing
[00:21:35.810]of who is going to be the licensing authority.
[00:21:39.150]And I would say it's very far from the siloed approach
[00:21:44.460]in that it's just in one place that everything happens.
[00:21:48.240]And in 2015, there was some regulations
[00:21:52.410]on licensing and supervision of space activities.
[00:21:54.970]A draft that was established.
[00:21:56.740]It was very fascinating because
[00:21:58.350]it was one of only four countries,
[00:22:00.110]which put the a hundred kilometers line,
[00:22:02.440]as where space is.
[00:22:03.950]And also had some figures in there with respect to liability
[00:22:07.700]and what their rates were gonna be for liability.
[00:22:10.120]I haven't followed up to see
[00:22:11.770]whether that ever came into force,
[00:22:13.920]but all that goes to show that, you know,
[00:22:16.010]we started off quite adventurous
[00:22:18.330]and active with our activities.
[00:22:19.920]And then the regulatory framework
[00:22:21.530]kind of followed on afterwards.
[00:22:27.040]Peter, would you'd like to comment
[00:22:28.210]on South Africa and others.
[00:22:31.040]So I'll comment on the South African legislation
[00:22:33.220]with which I'm most familiar.
[00:22:35.700]Space affairs in South Africa are regulated
[00:22:38.400]under the Space Affairs
[00:22:40.490]Act 84 of 1993,
[00:22:44.490]which was one of a number of acts
[00:22:47.150]that were rushed through in the periods
[00:22:50.280]of the transition period from apartheid
[00:22:52.890]to a fully representative democracy in South Africa.
[00:22:56.960]And so the act had a lot of disarmament type language in it.
[00:23:01.940]And so, but it was also in a sense
[00:23:06.760]ahead of its time and that it,
[00:23:08.110]it actually made reference to ideas
[00:23:10.900]such as the responsible uses of outer space.
[00:23:14.020]And it also established the South African Council
[00:23:16.830]for Space Affairs as the national regulatory authority.
[00:23:22.370]The act was used to license
[00:23:27.110]the SUNSAT satellite,
[00:23:29.270]which was launched in 1999,
[00:23:31.640]and subsequently the next mission was Sumbandila,
[00:23:34.550]which was launched in the 2000s.
[00:23:40.650]But clearly the act was
[00:23:44.620]showed evidence of the time and climate
[00:23:49.200]in which it was created.
[00:23:51.370]And in the late 2000s,
[00:23:54.320]we started a process to update the act,
[00:23:57.000]to recognize developments in the global space arena.
[00:24:00.380]This updating process continues.
[00:24:03.200]And I'm looking forward to see
[00:24:05.370]what the updated south African Space Affairs Act
[00:24:09.870]will look like.
[00:24:11.490]In terms of the siloed approach that you were asking about,
[00:24:15.224]we too have a somewhat siloed approach in South Africa
[00:24:19.040]in the sense that the radio frequency side of things
[00:24:22.450]is handled quite separately
[00:24:25.270]from the licensing for launch and operation
[00:24:28.880]of space objects.
[00:24:30.990]And I don't think this is all that rare.
[00:24:35.330]I think it's probably a feature of how many governments
[00:24:38.450]are structured and operate.
[00:24:40.870]And while we often hear the talk about, you know,
[00:24:45.130]a one-stop shop approach.
[00:24:47.710]While this is ideal,
[00:24:49.430]the reality is that it can be quite hard
[00:24:51.570]to implement something like that
[00:24:53.070]because of the very different types of considerations
[00:24:56.420]and expertise that you need
[00:24:58.260]for different aspects of licensing space activities,
[00:25:00.940]like the RF side versus the licensing
[00:25:03.790]for launch and operations.
[00:25:05.020]So, I foresee that at least in the South African context,
[00:25:09.080]we probably will have the sort of
[00:25:11.160]at least dual track approach for the foreseeable future.
[00:25:16.920]Great, I'll turn it over to Jess Rogers
[00:25:19.470]for next question.
[00:25:22.350]So these were really interesting examples
[00:25:24.820]of activities of the African states currently in space.
[00:25:30.310]In 2017, we saw the African Union
[00:25:34.160]establish the African Space Agency.
[00:25:37.440]And two years later, we saw that Egypt
[00:25:39.990]was chosen to host its headquarters.
[00:25:42.240]Now, we're wondering if you could all
[00:25:43.860]give us a little bit of an idea
[00:25:45.620]of how the progress has been so far on this project,
[00:25:50.620]and if we can still expect it to be up and running in 2023.
[00:25:55.850]And then also what you think will be
[00:25:58.270]the aspects of its operation,
[00:26:00.200]what types of cooperation and projects
[00:26:02.890]do you see anticipated?
[00:26:05.000]I'd like to start with Timiebi
[00:26:06.700]and then probably hand it over to the others,
[00:26:09.790]especially Peter who I'm sure has some comments
[00:26:12.690]on the pace of the progress.
[00:26:15.600]Thank you so much.
[00:26:16.610]I think Peter and Julia might be able
[00:26:18.290]to speak better to this than I can,
[00:26:21.020]but it's been really fascinating
[00:26:22.730]over the past four or five years,
[00:26:24.630]you know, following this issue.
[00:26:26.530]And watching the debates earlier on
[00:26:29.350]as to who is driving an African space, you know,
[00:26:33.420]who's driving an African space entity in Africa.
[00:26:37.570]I think at the beginning,
[00:26:39.120]it seemed quite a Western or European kind of influence,
[00:26:43.530]and it wasn't clear where the support
[00:26:45.970]was gonna come from Africa.
[00:26:47.560]So over the years, they've, you know,
[00:26:50.106]really worked really hard to say
[00:26:50.939]that this must be an African led program
[00:26:53.310]for Africans by Africans.
[00:26:55.510]Of course, keeping in line with international obligations
[00:26:58.300]and ensuring that no one is, you know,
[00:27:01.310]goes afoul of that.
[00:27:02.440]But I think right now it's really getting that buy-in
[00:27:04.990]from all the different actors in Africa
[00:27:07.150]with respect to how we make this our own
[00:27:09.490]and how we make this a homegrown thing.
[00:27:12.710]You know, I think people would say,
[00:27:14.620]there's been slow progress
[00:27:17.630]because that 2023 date kind of like a lot of these dates,
[00:27:21.890]if things were going well,
[00:27:23.210]why not have it sooner,
[00:27:24.330]but we're still trying to figure out
[00:27:25.480]where will the financing come from.
[00:27:27.320]What would an African program actually look like?
[00:27:29.760]Because it's all well and good
[00:27:31.210]having an institution like an agency,
[00:27:33.070]but what will that agency do?
[00:27:34.950]You know, how will that agency be funded?
[00:27:36.890]What are the priorities?
[00:27:37.990]If there is no industry in Africa
[00:27:40.720]to be able to, you know, support that,
[00:27:43.550]is it just gonna be a gateway for Western countries?
[00:27:46.290]So these are some of the things that, you know,
[00:27:47.933]that I've been thinking about.
[00:27:49.340]I'm excited about it
[00:27:50.450]because I think the youth really need something
[00:27:52.630]to get the teeth around for the future,
[00:27:54.600]but it's definitely challenging
[00:27:55.930]to figure out how this is gonna be sustainable.
[00:28:04.380]Well, I share many of the thoughts
[00:28:07.890]that Timiebi expressed about the African Space Agency
[00:28:13.190]and while I'm certainly a proponent
[00:28:16.470]of intro African cooperation,
[00:28:18.990]I think there are a number of issues
[00:28:20.400]that need to be sorted out.
[00:28:24.060]In terms of how the agency will operate
[00:28:27.030]or what kinds of projects are anticipated.
[00:28:28.860]I'm not in a position to answer those questions
[00:28:31.210]because I have not seen any documents
[00:28:34.060]from the African Union Commission,
[00:28:36.100]or any other definitive sources
[00:28:39.610]of specifying those aspects.
[00:28:42.850]I will, however, make a few observations
[00:28:44.850]about what I hope the agency will be
[00:28:47.260]and what it will not be.
[00:28:49.160]I do hope that the agency will be a motor
[00:28:51.860]for promoting and enhancing intra-African cooperation
[00:28:56.410]and for the stimulation
[00:28:57.550]of indigenous African space capabilities.
[00:29:01.460]And I also hope that it will not be an aggregator
[00:29:05.510]for the demand of space products and services
[00:29:08.010]that will then be provided by entities
[00:29:10.040]outside of the continent.
[00:29:11.960]If that happens in my view,
[00:29:14.440]the agency will have failed
[00:29:16.360]to live up to its principle, raison d'etre.
[00:29:20.770]And to some extent,
[00:29:21.760]I wonder if the delays being experienced
[00:29:25.810]with establishing the agency are not simply
[00:29:27.980]because of the decision
[00:29:29.760]to set up a new continental entity
[00:29:31.780]may have been somewhat premature
[00:29:33.900]given the current status of development
[00:29:36.130]of space activities in African countries,
[00:29:38.610]and whether it might be better
[00:29:41.670]to pursue an intermediate objective
[00:29:43.890]of first building space cooperation experiences
[00:29:47.310]among African countries.
[00:29:49.800]In this way, African countries
[00:29:51.800]with experience of collaborating with each other
[00:29:53.970]in space projects,
[00:29:56.140]this experience will be valuable
[00:29:58.240]for the establishment of a continental agency.
[00:30:02.060]And why do I say that?
[00:30:03.150]I say that because one has to recall
[00:30:04.980]that the industrial capabilities
[00:30:07.280]and the technical expertise
[00:30:08.810]lie within the public and private sector
[00:30:11.550]institutions of the African states.
[00:30:14.070]And the agency is gonna have to rely on
[00:30:15.650]and utilize these capabilities.
[00:30:17.550]But what I see at the moment,
[00:30:18.973]there's a lack of operational experience of cooperation
[00:30:22.710]in space activities across the African continent.
[00:30:28.070]Thank you, those were great examples
[00:30:29.830]of your visions for the African space agency.
[00:30:33.190]Julia, is there anything you have to add on
[00:30:36.390]perhaps even Ghana's perspective
[00:30:38.250]and wishes for the space agency?
[00:30:42.070]Yes, I think I agree with
[00:30:45.330]some of what Peter has said,
[00:30:47.490]but I do take a slightly different view
[00:30:49.920]on this issue or the view that the agency
[00:30:54.160]was slightly premature.
[00:30:56.080]Completely accept that across the continent,
[00:30:59.830]the experience in terms of, you know,
[00:31:03.070]intercontinental cooperation, even national experience
[00:31:07.220]in space activities is relatively limited
[00:31:10.860]with the exception of South Africa and Nigeria.
[00:31:13.930]You know, all the other states
[00:31:15.230]are relatively new to this field.
[00:31:17.170]So, I can understand why there would be an argument
[00:31:20.870]that an agency was premature when it was first thought of.
[00:31:26.630]However, I think it's precisely
[00:31:28.300]because of that lack of experience,
[00:31:31.290]why an agency might be beneficial.
[00:31:34.490]And the reason is this,
[00:31:35.620]I don't think that most individual African countries
[00:31:39.500]are in a position to, you know,
[00:31:42.650]excel at any point in the near future, individually.
[00:31:46.880]I think this is power in numbers,
[00:31:49.810]and I think they need to share expertise,
[00:31:52.760]build capacity together,
[00:31:54.780]and when they put all their resources in one pot,
[00:31:58.160]I think that more would be able to be achieved
[00:32:00.720]in a shorter amount of time
[00:32:02.620]than if individual nations went about it
[00:32:06.350]on their own or completely on their own.
[00:32:09.130]In terms of documentation, Peter is right.
[00:32:11.520]There's not very much,
[00:32:13.040]perhaps with the exception of the statute of the agency.
[00:32:19.370]One thing I am a little bit worried about is,
[00:32:23.090]and this does tally with some of the things said
[00:32:25.940]by both Timi and Peter
[00:32:27.850]is the management or the governance structure
[00:32:30.910]of the space agency.
[00:32:33.070]There are four bodies,
[00:32:34.550]an advisory council, an advisory committee,
[00:32:37.750]a council, a secretariat and a director general.
[00:32:41.890]Now the two main bodies
[00:32:43.780]the advisory committee and the council
[00:32:46.180]are only required by the statute
[00:32:48.690]to meet once a year.
[00:32:51.420]Now, of course there will to meet more than that,
[00:32:54.890]but the requirement is once a year.
[00:32:56.500]And I think that should this agency
[00:32:59.460]become operational 2023, 2024, what have you,
[00:33:03.600]I think meeting once a year is insufficient
[00:33:06.260]for the Herculean task that they have before them.
[00:33:10.010]Especially considering particularly
[00:33:13.760]in the early ages of its establishment.
[00:33:16.822]So, is it something that I think can be successful?
[00:33:20.960]But is it gonna require a lot of strategic planning,
[00:33:24.800]finance, investment, knowledge sharing?
[00:33:28.010]Yes, but I don't think it's an insurmountable task.
[00:33:30.770]I think the youth, the African youth,
[00:33:33.350]what I see in, for example,
[00:33:34.720]the Space Generation Advisory Council,
[00:33:37.440]the African Air and Space Law Association
[00:33:41.590]of which I'm Co-Director of the Space Division
[00:33:44.330]and a number of other grassroots associations
[00:33:47.500]are really working hard to raise awareness
[00:33:50.950]about the advantages of space activities.
[00:33:54.950]And I think over the next few years,
[00:33:56.750]we will hopefully see this trickle upwards, if you want,
[00:34:00.520]into government and the AU.
[00:34:04.660]That's super interesting,
[00:34:05.730]lots of potential and lots of open questions
[00:34:09.100]still that we're very excited to see how it will progress.
[00:34:12.600]I'll hand it over back to Matt for the next question.
[00:34:16.130]Great, thank you.
[00:34:18.550]So we've talked that there's 19 or 20
[00:34:22.230]or so African countries with the space agency.
[00:34:25.710]There's 19 or 20 that have satellites,
[00:34:28.670]or will soon have satellites
[00:34:29.890]or have satellites in development,
[00:34:31.750]but there is a much lesser number
[00:34:33.140]that have ratified the Outer Space Treaty,
[00:34:36.200]the foundational treaty governing activities in outer space.
[00:34:39.970]And just wondering,
[00:34:41.550]and I guess we're back in line to loop back to Peter
[00:34:44.290]to go first on this one.
[00:34:47.650]You know, what type of prospects or possibilities
[00:34:52.850]are there for additional African countries
[00:34:57.090]to become parties to the Outer Space Treaty
[00:34:59.470]here in the near medium term?
[00:35:05.393]And so, as it turns out, I actually checked recently,
[00:35:07.960]as it turns out 32 African countries
[00:35:10.300]have either ratified or signed the Outer Space Treaty.
[00:35:14.360]Some have not ratified the Outer Space Treaty,
[00:35:16.510]but have signed the rescue agreement,
[00:35:18.830]or the registration convention.
[00:35:21.310]But in terms of,
[00:35:22.370]but what matters is not which countries
[00:35:24.950]have ratified the treaty,
[00:35:26.900]but which are the ones that are doing
[00:35:29.150]that are conducting space activities
[00:35:31.030]that have not ratified the treaty.
[00:35:32.500]I think those are the ones
[00:35:33.360]we should have encourage to ratify.
[00:35:36.250]And I would say that as a nation
[00:35:39.830]gets to the point of having a national space agency
[00:35:42.450]or a national space legislation,
[00:35:44.400]or certainly launching a space object,
[00:35:46.980]it should consider ratifying
[00:35:48.690]at least the Outer Space Treaty.
[00:35:50.900]About a week ago, I saw a press announcement
[00:35:55.050]that Zimbabwe is starting its own national space agency.
[00:36:00.690]And they are intending to launch a satellite
[00:36:04.510]sometime in 2022.
[00:36:06.557]And it turns out Zimbabwe is one of the countries
[00:36:08.710]that hasn't ratified the treaty.
[00:36:11.080]And so one would encourage them to do so.
[00:36:15.900]And then there are other nations
[00:36:21.420]that don't have space agencies,
[00:36:23.580]but that may be starting space activities
[00:36:27.800]outside of the government in terms of, you know,
[00:36:32.130]a university or a private company.
[00:36:34.640]And so there, again,
[00:36:36.410]I think one should keep an eye on the activities,
[00:36:43.114]of the various African states and space,
[00:36:46.890]and certainly promote
[00:36:52.510]of the Outer Space Treaty wherever possible.
[00:36:57.900]Great, Julia or Timiebi,
[00:37:00.080]do you wanna join in on that one?
[00:37:02.670]Or should we move on to the next question?
[00:37:05.850]Yeah so, I mean,
[00:37:07.240]I think that when it comes to signing treaties
[00:37:09.810]states do it because there's a variety of interests,
[00:37:12.870]there's a variety of reasons why a state
[00:37:14.950]would sign on to a treaty
[00:37:16.250]and essentially it's either for their own self-interest
[00:37:19.220]or to, you know, for other reasons.
[00:37:21.670]And I think AJ, in the comments, you know,
[00:37:23.930]basically saying that if the Outer Space Treaty
[00:37:27.440]is basically customary international law,
[00:37:29.710]why do you need to sign a treaty?
[00:37:31.290]And for me, space is very much a club.
[00:37:34.520]So there are a lot of signals that you have to do
[00:37:37.050]to show that you're responsible actor.
[00:37:39.270]And one of them is essentially even if something is customed
[00:37:42.080]signing onto the treaty to say,
[00:37:43.520]I am willing to come with the rules of this game.
[00:37:46.720]It's a game that we're all playing
[00:37:48.250]and we're ready to play the game.
[00:37:49.530]So that's really why they should sign on.
[00:37:54.610]Essentially, of course,
[00:37:56.150]there's some that believe only
[00:37:57.320]articles one through three of the Outer Space Treaty,
[00:37:59.670]are customery international law.
[00:38:00.760]And there's a lot of debate, you know,
[00:38:03.620]exactly which articles would be applicable
[00:38:06.500]to more nations that have ratified the OST
[00:38:08.560]via customary international law.
[00:38:09.810]So I think that's a really good point.
[00:38:13.840]Julia, if you wanna hop in on this we can,
[00:38:16.140]or I'll turn it over to Jess for the next question?
[00:38:20.770]That's fine, we can move on to Jessica.
[00:38:26.081]Thank you, so we're wondering how the African nations,
[00:38:30.500]how you've seen them cooperate in the UN committee
[00:38:32.960]on the peaceful uses of outer space.
[00:38:35.640]Have you seen more of an informal process?
[00:38:37.840]Is there a formal cooperation in place
[00:38:43.579]and what do you see the potential for this being
[00:38:45.670]and where would you like to see this going?
[00:38:47.720]I'll start with Julia for this question.
[00:38:53.660]Well, I'll start with Ghana specifically.
[00:38:57.480]Ghana, as I mentioned earlier,
[00:38:58.760]became a member of COPUOS back in 2003
[00:39:02.210]through the UN resolution as is normal practice.
[00:39:05.730]But since then, their attendance
[00:39:08.950]at COPUOS has been rather sketchy.
[00:39:11.880]Government representatives attended
[00:39:14.760]in 2015 and in 2018
[00:39:18.450]when I was in attendance
[00:39:21.040]and that's when Ghana gave its maiden speech
[00:39:23.500]before the committee,
[00:39:24.940]which was given by Professor Frimpong-Boateng,
[00:39:28.710]who has then Ghana's Minister
[00:39:31.710]for the Environment Science Technology and Innovation.
[00:39:36.480]I know, I think it was COPUOS,
[00:39:38.870]you can correct me if I'm wrong, Peter,
[00:39:40.670]was it canceled last year during COVID?
[00:39:44.503]It was virtual.
[00:39:45.530]It was virtual, okay.
[00:39:46.730]I don't think Ghana had any representation then.
[00:39:49.420]And this year Ghana was represented by diplomats,
[00:39:53.930]not by anybody from the ministry
[00:39:56.760]or the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute,
[00:39:59.490]or anybody with a really technical background.
[00:40:03.250]So their participation has been
[00:40:07.800]not as good as it could be,
[00:40:09.980]but given the plan for increased space activities,
[00:40:12.930]as mentioned by the president
[00:40:15.780]and what I see on the ground
[00:40:17.920]and various Ghanaians over throughout the world,
[00:40:20.230]the projects they're working on,
[00:40:21.520]I would hope that Ghana will take
[00:40:23.690]a more active role in COPUOS.
[00:40:26.230]Not only for its own national development,
[00:40:29.300]obviously that's an interest,
[00:40:30.890]but I would hope Ghana would take more active participation
[00:40:36.170]in terms of contributing to the development
[00:40:38.750]and formation of international space law and governance.
[00:40:42.960]I think that Ghanaians have something to contribute.
[00:40:45.970]And I hope that those in power
[00:40:48.947]and government will see fit to ensure
[00:40:51.700]that we are adequately represented there
[00:40:54.910]and that we make a worthy contribution.
[00:41:00.330]Timiebi or Peter, do you have any comment
[00:41:02.960]on how you see this reflected
[00:41:04.850]for other African nation states
[00:41:06.550]and also your vision?
[00:41:10.950]So I think this is one area
[00:41:13.780]where I believe African countries
[00:41:16.110]can take a leaf from other regions.
[00:41:18.750]What I have observed in COPUOS
[00:41:20.800]is that other regions such as GRULAC
[00:41:24.250]or the European member states
[00:41:28.840]are consistently far better coordinated
[00:41:32.180]and have common positions on a number of important issues.
[00:41:35.270]And it's clear that they coordinate ahead of the meeting,
[00:41:38.210]they come and support coordinated positions and so on.
[00:41:43.070]Whereas in contrast the coordination among African nations
[00:41:48.210]in COPUOS tended to be more sporadic.
[00:41:52.420]Much of it seems to depend
[00:41:54.290]on the chair of the African group in Vienna
[00:41:56.870]at a given time and what the priorities
[00:41:59.430]of that country are, during their term.
[00:42:02.500]Sometimes the chair will fall to a country
[00:42:04.880]for which space is a strong priority
[00:42:07.620]compared to other issues.
[00:42:08.850]And then they will take the initiative
[00:42:10.750]to pull together coordination meetings and so on.
[00:42:14.560]But for many African countries,
[00:42:16.360]their priorities in Vienna are things like,
[00:42:19.540]UNIDO, drugs and crime or other issues
[00:42:22.130]and space tends to fall by the wayside.
[00:42:24.320]So I think some more consistency and attention
[00:42:28.180]to space issues and continuity would really help.
[00:42:32.600]And this is one area where organizations
[00:42:34.800]such as ours, Secure World Foundation
[00:42:37.120]and also the UN office for Outer Space Affairs
[00:42:40.890]are working with African countries to support them,
[00:42:43.970]to engage more effectively in COPUOS,
[00:42:46.530]and in other multilateral fora,
[00:42:48.180]dealing with space affairs.
[00:42:51.410]Lovely, thank you.
[00:42:53.036]Timiebi, if you'd like to respond to that,
[00:42:55.744]you're welcome to, if not,
[00:42:58.130]we can also go back to Matt,
[00:43:00.854]to either move on with the next question
[00:43:05.490]or see how much time we have
[00:43:06.930]for audience questions at this point.
[00:43:10.470]I've only been to COPUOS with the legal subcommittee once.
[00:43:13.210]I was on the Nigerian delegation
[00:43:14.940]and Nigeria was the chair at the time.
[00:43:16.840]Dr. Tare Brisibe, who did a fantastic job.
[00:43:19.890]I was so proud and it's really goes to show
[00:43:23.000]what can happen when somebody who's really good
[00:43:25.280]and knows what's happening,
[00:43:26.680]is kind of, you know, working together.
[00:43:28.770]Nigeria is currently the chair of COPUOS as well.
[00:43:31.670]So I'm hoping that it's also gonna be
[00:43:33.680]a significant opportunity, you know,
[00:43:36.880]with Africa leading this realm.
[00:43:39.030]So it's one resource that I wanna highlight
[00:43:41.840]that I discovered in my research to prepare for this
[00:43:44.210]was a thesis by a diplomat called Mark Reinhardt,
[00:43:47.630]who really talked about Africa's contribution to space,
[00:43:50.990]to space governance at COPUOS.
[00:43:53.300]I'm really excited to read that thesis
[00:43:55.130]because he's been on the delegations for several years,
[00:43:58.620]but really pointed out kind of like Peter said,
[00:44:00.920]some of the challenges of African delegations, you know,
[00:44:03.790]the consistency with being able to get there,
[00:44:05.920]the fact that there are other priorities,
[00:44:07.710]the fact that sometimes it's just diplomats
[00:44:09.610]rather than technocrats, that are able to do the job.
[00:44:12.570]So I'm hoping now, especially we've got new people
[00:44:15.370]like Angola and Rwanda, who I'm really excited about
[00:44:18.360]'cause they're just doing amazing things in Africa.
[00:44:20.620]They're just joining COPUOS.
[00:44:21.950]I hope their enthusiasm is gonna be able to, you know,
[00:44:25.010]do something for the African delegations.
[00:44:28.430]That's amazing, yeah.
[00:44:29.263]I look forward to seeing all COPUOS activities
[00:44:32.150]by African nations states
[00:44:33.240]now that it's really starting to see a lot of progress.
[00:44:37.620]So very exciting developments.
[00:44:40.520]Matt, I'll hand it back over to you.
[00:44:42.310]I see we have 12 more minutes, I believe.
[00:44:45.210]So, I'll let you decide whether we wanna
[00:44:48.060]smooth into the audience questions.
[00:44:50.020]I already seen a couple of really interesting ones
[00:44:52.190]in the chat.
[00:44:53.280]Yeah, so we're gonna run
[00:44:54.910]just for everybody's information
[00:44:55.980]about three, four minutes long.
[00:44:57.380]'Cause we started about three, four minutes late.
[00:44:59.410]So we do have about 16 minutes.
[00:45:01.260]I thought I'd merge maybe two questions
[00:45:03.760]that are coming up and then maybe
[00:45:04.860]we can move on to audience questions.
[00:45:08.460]So, please put them in the Q and A box,
[00:45:11.600]but the next two questions,
[00:45:13.100]one related to Artemis Accords and one to property rights.
[00:45:16.230]And they're somewhat related.
[00:45:17.190]Obviously the US has the Artemis program to return man
[00:45:21.010]and put the first woman on the moon.
[00:45:25.440]As part of that Artemis program,
[00:45:27.240]countries that are wanting to cooperate
[00:45:29.050]with the US on that have signed on to
[00:45:32.950]the so-called Artemis Accords.
[00:45:34.250]A set of non-binding principles
[00:45:36.480]that much of which is a reiteration
[00:45:39.380]of what's in the Outer Space Treaty,
[00:45:40.660]which we've talked a little bit about already,
[00:45:43.780]but there is some things
[00:45:45.410]that are putting additional flesh on the bones
[00:45:47.470]of the Outer Space Treaty.
[00:45:49.090]And so just get your thoughts in general,
[00:45:51.680]might we anticipate a African country
[00:45:55.100]joining the Artemis Accords eventually.
[00:45:57.220]And then specifically on one of the things
[00:45:58.980]where flesh is put on the bones,
[00:46:00.460]in terms of property rights.
[00:46:02.640]The US has a longstanding view going back to the 1970s
[00:46:06.250]that there can be property rights
[00:46:08.110]and extracted resources from celestial bodies.
[00:46:13.190]And there's a lot of calls for
[00:46:15.350]use of extractive resources in situ
[00:46:18.780]and in longer term ideas,
[00:46:20.420]maybe even to bring resources back to the earth
[00:46:23.630]provided there's a business case
[00:46:25.330]or some other case that can be made for it.
[00:46:27.790]But just your thoughts on Artemis Accords
[00:46:30.960]generally might we anticipate an African nation
[00:46:32.990]signing up to it.
[00:46:34.090]And then on the property rights issue,
[00:46:35.860]property rights and extracted resources issue,
[00:46:38.270]is there a view from African countries
[00:46:42.200]that you've heard or where's the general stance on that?
[00:46:47.930]We can start with any of you, I guess.
[00:46:54.730]Timiebi, let's start with you.
[00:46:56.110]And then we'll go to Peter and Julia
[00:46:58.030]for the Artemis and property rights.
[00:47:00.700]Okay, so of course this has been a fascinating topic
[00:47:03.670]that we've all been following
[00:47:05.230]and, you know, right since 2015,
[00:47:08.610]when the US came up with the competitiveness Launch Act,
[00:47:12.150]that basically gave US citizens
[00:47:14.550]the right to be able to exploit resources in space.
[00:47:18.550]At the 2016 COPUOS session,
[00:47:20.660]you know, that people were up in arms really,
[00:47:23.020]is this the US trying to unilaterally change the law
[00:47:26.910]or make its own interpretation,
[00:47:28.610]something that is not in line with others.
[00:47:30.340]And what we've seen over the years
[00:47:32.470]is a slow trend towards people still, you know,
[00:47:35.760]being a bit like conservative about this interpretation,
[00:47:38.710]but now we've had the UAE, Japan and Luxembourg
[00:47:42.170]also make similar laws.
[00:47:44.180]And we now have this working group at COPUOS
[00:47:46.640]that since this last COPUOS,
[00:47:48.740]that is now going to take this discussion one step further
[00:47:51.340]and really see what does
[00:47:52.910]the international community see with this.
[00:47:55.000]And what I really believe is that
[00:47:56.800]we're not gonna have an international treaty.
[00:47:58.940]We're not going to have this benefit sharing regime
[00:48:02.050]that we all really want.
[00:48:03.400]Well, some of us,
[00:48:04.340]I think we should have.
[00:48:05.900]What we're gonna have is more and more
[00:48:08.890]and people basically trying to find a way
[00:48:10.760]to make this possible.
[00:48:11.790]Because it seems the majority of people
[00:48:13.420]want to make this possible.
[00:48:14.830]Do I see an African country?
[00:48:16.190]I mean, Peter is here.
[00:48:17.130]He can speak for South Africa.
[00:48:18.820]I don't know.
[00:48:20.060]I think it's gonna be a while before an African country
[00:48:24.280]can actually participate in an Artemis program.
[00:48:27.900]So is it the right time now for them to join?
[00:48:30.490]I'm not sure.
[00:48:31.650]I think maybe people would still be watching
[00:48:33.560]to see what does the wider international community say.
[00:48:36.340]And of course we saw that in response to the Artemis Accord,
[00:48:39.300]the Russians and the Chinese said
[00:48:40.610]that they were gonna have their own station.
[00:48:42.550]So what will the governance regime look like for that?
[00:48:45.050]And here it gives countries the opportunity to say,
[00:48:47.850]do we wanna join both?
[00:48:48.940]I think the UAE are part of the conversations for both
[00:48:51.740]or is it really choosing one camp over the other?
[00:48:54.630]So I think these options for African countries
[00:48:56.860]to kind of determine whether they wanna go?
[00:48:59.050]Who do they want to partner with?
[00:49:00.550]I think that's an opportunity for the US
[00:49:02.320]if the US is very open to hearing different perspectives
[00:49:05.390]and taking that in as they negotiate
[00:49:07.560]the Artemis program for individual countries.
[00:49:10.320]So, watch this space is all I can say.
[00:49:16.040]Well, Timiebi has, I think given an excellent answer,
[00:49:21.280]I don't have much to add to what she has said.
[00:49:23.260]I think it's very difficult to predict
[00:49:25.810]whether any African countries would be ready
[00:49:28.827]to sign up to the Artemis Accords for programmatic reasons,
[00:49:33.990]for geopolitical reasons and for a variety of reasons.
[00:49:36.560]So, as she says, watch this space.
[00:49:38.850]In terms of the space property rights, frankly speaking,
[00:49:43.800]I don't believe that most African countries
[00:49:46.240]have mature considered national positions
[00:49:50.760]on space property rights.
[00:49:52.150]This is something that I think many of them
[00:49:54.570]are still coming to terms with.
[00:49:57.670]It's one of the areas that we've been addressing
[00:50:00.150]through our programs at Secure World to work with,
[00:50:03.430]various African countries to bring them up to speed
[00:50:06.400]on the conversations that are happening on the topic
[00:50:09.630]of space resources at these multilateral fora,
[00:50:12.240]so that they can develop their own informed opinions
[00:50:15.210]and participate knowledgeably in COPUOS
[00:50:18.730]and other fora when these topics come up.
[00:50:21.530]But I don't believe that many African countries
[00:50:24.310]have considered national positions on this topic right now.
[00:50:33.470]Julia, would you like to comment?
[00:50:35.950]Yes, well to echo what Peter said,
[00:50:37.530]as far as I'm aware Ghana does not have a position
[00:50:41.420]on space property rights.
[00:50:45.164]And I hope that before they do take a position on that,
[00:50:49.050]they really assess the position taken by other nations,
[00:50:53.280]such as the US, UAE, Luxembourg.
[00:50:57.340]Assess the changing dynamics of the industry
[00:51:00.550]and adopt an approach that reasonably respects
[00:51:05.290]the global public interest,
[00:51:08.590]but simultaneously, you know,
[00:51:10.500]supporting the national interest.
[00:51:11.920]It's going to be a very long time, I think before,
[00:51:15.180]you know, this becomes realistic
[00:51:17.470]or achievable for Ghana on its own.
[00:51:21.250]But nevertheless, I think it's good
[00:51:22.890]to be ahead of the curve.
[00:51:24.690]In terms of the Artemis Accord,
[00:51:27.230]just touching on something Timi said,
[00:51:29.330]she referred to this fragmentation that,
[00:51:33.240]you know, the Artemis Accord and other,
[00:51:35.350]you know, sideline agreements,
[00:51:38.220]agreements that are made outside of the COPUOS regime
[00:51:41.550]that are not an international negotiated treaty.
[00:51:46.570]This fragmentation that Timi mentioned, can be problematic.
[00:51:50.700]And some countries could take as a point in principle,
[00:51:55.160]decide that, you know,
[00:51:57.340]space law should be made through consensus
[00:52:01.290]in an international forum.
[00:52:05.080]And on that basis decide that, you know,
[00:52:07.140]it's not for them.
[00:52:09.140]That being said,
[00:52:10.550]there's a feeling that if you don't sign the accord,
[00:52:13.100]you're lagging behind.
[00:52:14.690]You're going to miss out.
[00:52:16.170]And of course, countries are not going to want to miss out.
[00:52:19.400]So, I personally would prefer that Ghana,
[00:52:24.630]you know, go through an international negotiated treaty,
[00:52:28.020]but there's a lot to be considered.
[00:52:29.990]And we'll see as someone has said,
[00:52:33.050]how this space turns out.
[00:52:38.730]Well, thank you for that.
[00:52:41.440]I'm glad we got the Artemis question
[00:52:43.517]and property rights question.
[00:52:45.100]Well, let me combine a couple audience questions
[00:52:48.500]and then Jess, maybe you can wrap up
[00:52:50.050]with the final question,
[00:52:51.940]question nine on the moderated ones.
[00:52:54.180]But just to combine a couple questions that have come in,
[00:52:58.230]'cause they do have a common theme
[00:52:59.870]and we've touched on it a little bit here.
[00:53:02.500]But several of those attending
[00:53:06.650]are interested to know how developing countries
[00:53:09.560]can play maybe a more leading role,
[00:53:13.500]be it in terms of developing national space legislation
[00:53:17.860]or internationally, we've spoken
[00:53:19.630]about COPUOS and whatnot.
[00:53:22.430]But I think that they both fit under
[00:53:24.520]the broad theme of this.
[00:53:26.480]You know, what mechanisms or techniques or strategies
[00:53:29.860]might developing countries utilize
[00:53:33.380]to play a more leading role in the development
[00:53:36.520]of international norms and national space legislation,
[00:53:39.680]I think would be the best way to phrase it.
[00:53:43.230]We can start, I guess,
[00:53:45.000]I think we've looped back to Peter to go first
[00:53:47.180]and then we can hear from Julia and Timi.
[00:53:55.770]Thank you, great question.
[00:53:58.910]Well, you know,
[00:54:02.520]it's not just developing countries.
[00:54:04.250]I think it's countries that are new to the space domain.
[00:54:10.050]And one of the things that we've observed is that,
[00:54:13.650]you know, the space arena
[00:54:16.850]is evolving very, very rapidly.
[00:54:19.120]And so countries that have been actors
[00:54:21.720]in the space domain for many decades
[00:54:25.270]have these regulatory systems in place
[00:54:29.120]that are in some cases being stretched,
[00:54:35.230]and finding it difficult to keep up
[00:54:39.570]with the rapids of pace of change.
[00:54:42.090]And so to some extent, new space actors
[00:54:45.520]that are starting with a blank sheet of paper,
[00:54:47.970]have a certain advantage in that they don't have to deal
[00:54:50.690]with issues of institutional inertia, legacy,
[00:54:55.040]regulatory regimes, that kind of stuff.
[00:54:57.400]And so, you know, one could look at emerging space actors,
[00:55:02.390]like for example, New Zealand
[00:55:03.430]that I believe you had featuring on the series,
[00:55:06.380]not so long ago.
[00:55:07.560]There's some very interesting developments going on there.
[00:55:11.090]So I think to my mind,
[00:55:14.000]what is important is to encourage greater regulator
[00:55:18.730]to regulator dialogue.
[00:55:20.830]Certainly it has been my experience
[00:55:25.270]when I was chair of the South African Space Council,
[00:55:28.800]that a lot of regulators seem to operate
[00:55:31.210]in their own national silos.
[00:55:33.610]And for a long time, this wasn't a problem,
[00:55:36.630]but getting that we're seeing
[00:55:37.980]a much more globalized approach to space nowadays,
[00:55:42.770]it does raise questions of what I call
[00:55:45.310]chain of custody issues.
[00:55:47.130]Where you have space systems that are implemented
[00:55:50.530]across multiple jurisdictions.
[00:55:52.730]And I think it's gonna be very important
[00:55:54.780]for regulators to have much more regular exchanges,
[00:55:59.670]to learn from each other and such
[00:56:02.000]to implement the lessons learned
[00:56:04.360]by other regulatory colleagues elsewhere in the world.
[00:56:07.970]That would be my advice on this issue.
[00:56:12.180]Great, Julia, and then Timiebi.
[00:56:18.580]Yes, and I don't have much to add
[00:56:20.120]to what Peter said, actually,
[00:56:21.720]I quite agree with that analysis
[00:56:23.930]So I hand over to Timi.
[00:56:27.380]Thank you, I mean, I have two main points
[00:56:29.380]with this regard.
[00:56:30.213]I think the first one is to really,
[00:56:32.060]for Africans countries
[00:56:35.190]to think about the experiences
[00:56:37.720]they have (indistinct) here on earth.
[00:56:40.330]that can apply to the space.
[00:56:43.130]So, for instance, you know,
[00:56:47.260]we have a lot of experience with earth mining
[00:56:52.560]environment degradation and colonialism.
[00:57:27.204]developing countries really can take us away
[00:57:29.673]from that space is out there really far away,
[00:57:40.273]but people benefit from space.
[00:57:45.070]Timi was breaking up there a little bit,
[00:57:47.350]but the first point was that
[00:57:49.900]countries could take some of the earthly experience
[00:57:52.710]on the environmental side,
[00:57:53.790]other side and apply that in the space arena.
[00:57:57.220]And I apologize, it was breaking up.
[00:57:59.690]We have about two minutes left, Jess.
[00:58:01.750]If you wanna ask this last question,
[00:58:04.500]'cause I think Julia maybe wanted to take this on
[00:58:07.590]and maybe there's others that do,
[00:58:09.130]but we'll get this last question.
[00:58:10.570]Let's treat it as a lightning round
[00:58:12.420]and then we'll do final thank yous.
[00:58:16.680]Thank you, Matt.
[00:58:18.020]So we've discussed that currently African space applications
[00:58:22.080]are focused on earth observation or remote sensing.
[00:58:27.020]In the future, do you see a launch capability in Africa?
[00:58:31.790]So maybe you could just quickly explain
[00:58:34.190]what your prognosis for the future of space applications
[00:58:37.340]in Africa is.
[00:58:38.360]Thank you, Julia.
[00:58:46.150]Well, I am.
[00:58:47.320]Can you guys hear me okay?
[00:58:50.103]Okay, I'm really glad that we have put this question,
[00:58:53.900]even though it's a lightening round
[00:58:55.950]because on the very rare occasions
[00:58:58.450]that people talk about launch capability
[00:59:00.500]on the continent, you know,
[00:59:02.760]the sentiment is quite dismissive and pessimistic.
[00:59:06.930]A short time ago, I wrote a paper
[00:59:08.880]where I suggested that an African-owned,
[00:59:12.530]African-operated launch facility,
[00:59:15.630]was necessary for Africa
[00:59:17.740]to sustain an African space industry.
[00:59:21.550]At the moment our space-based services
[00:59:26.220]are really reliant on others.
[00:59:28.850]And I think in order for us to be self-dependent,
[00:59:32.200]we will need that.
[00:59:34.670]That does require a certain physical
[00:59:37.899]geographical requirements in terms of, you know,
[00:59:43.370]facing eastward, et cetera.
[00:59:44.940]But the scientists would know more about that,
[00:59:46.790]but I think it's feasible.
[00:59:50.020]Geographically, yes it would no doubt
[00:59:55.080]require extreme planning,
[00:59:57.730]a significant amount of funding,
[01:00:00.710]but I think in the long term,
[01:00:04.040]it is something that we should be working towards.
[01:00:07.850]Other continents have a launch capability,
[01:00:11.500]and I don't see why in principal
[01:00:13.890]Africa should not have one too.
[01:00:15.480]I'm not saying that it's going to be easier.
[01:00:17.210]It's gonna happen in the next five years,
[01:00:19.360]but it's something that I think the continent
[01:00:21.610]through the AU should be working aggressively towards.
[01:00:29.183]Very exciting and very exciting ambitions
[01:00:34.180]and definitely commendable and something
[01:00:36.330]that I also see Africa working towards.
[01:00:40.290]Peter or Timiebi, would you like
[01:00:42.530]to share your quick prognosis?
[01:00:45.400]And then this is our, I think last minute
[01:00:48.380]before we close out today.
[01:00:52.080]Yeah, certainly the whole question
[01:00:53.580]of launch capability from Africa,
[01:00:55.660]is something that has been discussed
[01:00:57.300]on and off over the years.
[01:01:00.220]I think that's previous programs
[01:01:03.720]were carried out on the continent
[01:01:05.565]in the late eighties, early nineties
[01:01:09.680]were very, very costly.
[01:01:11.330]Military cold war type programs
[01:01:13.900]that were disbanded in '94.
[01:01:18.110]And there haven't been any development since then,
[01:01:21.170]that I'm aware of.
[01:01:23.460]And I frankly, at the present,
[01:01:27.120]I don't see the conditions for a large scale launch
[01:01:29.950]or development program in any single African country,
[01:01:33.820]at the current stage.
[01:01:36.190]However, having said that,
[01:01:37.700]I think there may be the possibility
[01:01:39.460]of development of micro launches on the continent
[01:01:42.470]to access equatorial orbits,
[01:01:44.920]and maybe also polar orbits.
[01:01:48.310]There are launch facilities
[01:01:49.670]already in existence on the continent
[01:01:51.790]established by previous programs.
[01:01:55.290]In South Africa, for example,
[01:01:57.050]and also in Kenya.
[01:01:59.960]And so one could imagine small launcher operations,
[01:02:04.470]maybe sort of ship and shoot type launch arrangements
[01:02:07.940]in countries with established ground support infrastructure
[01:02:11.570]that could support small launches
[01:02:13.840]that I could see as a sort of midterm possibility
[01:02:18.620]if there were the political interest
[01:02:21.220]and also the industrial capability
[01:02:23.597]and the investments in place
[01:02:25.312]to bring all of this about.
[01:02:30.533]Lovely, thank you Peter.
[01:02:32.090]Timiebi, I know you were breaking up a little bit,
[01:02:33.960]but feel free to try to unmute yourself
[01:02:37.900]if you'd like to respond.
[01:02:47.750]Unfortunately, you're still breaking up quite a bit.
[01:02:51.250]Is everyone else also hearing this?
[01:02:56.156]In 2003 the center of the space
[01:03:03.430]Yeah, unfortunately, still breaking up.
[01:03:05.188]But perhaps you can put your answer in the chat.
[01:03:24.220]Thank you so much.
[01:03:25.053]I'm sorry for the last minute technical difficulties here.
[01:03:28.190]One question we actually didn't get to
[01:03:29.660]was on spectrum issues.
[01:03:32.860]So, but everything else we covered
[01:03:35.450]and I really thank Peter Martinez,
[01:03:39.110]Julia Selman Ayetey
[01:03:41.241]and Timiebi Aganaba for a great discussion.
[01:03:44.690]Jess Rogers, thank you so much for co-moderating.
[01:03:47.300]Jess again, as I mentioned,
[01:03:48.796]in the introduction is the Vice-Chair
[01:03:50.380]of the ASIL Space Law Interest Group.
[01:03:52.910]Please do join that if you have an interest in space
[01:03:54.920]and like hearing discussions like this.
[01:03:57.380]There'll be at least one more session
[01:03:58.830]in this rule speak space series coming up.
[01:04:01.610]Also wanted to thank Josh Redwine,
[01:04:03.850]our new program coordinator
[01:04:05.710]for all his help with this conference.
[01:04:07.270]As well as Elisabet Magilton,
[01:04:10.390]who many of you know is our Former Executive Director
[01:04:12.960]of Space Cyber and Telecom.
[01:04:14.610]And now leading up in an executive role,
[01:04:18.610]the new Tech Governance Center,
[01:04:20.210]but still with us on Space Cyber Telecom as well.
[01:04:23.930]And thank you again to ASIL
[01:04:26.680]for sponsoring this session
[01:04:27.960]and to the American branch of International Law Association
[01:04:30.850]for co-sponsoring this session.
[01:04:33.220]Thank you so much and have a great day.
[01:04:34.740]And tomorrow we do talk about spectrum.
[01:04:37.570]Our session tomorrow with this Space Law Week,
[01:04:40.610]our 14th Annual DC Space Law Conference
[01:04:43.040]will focus on spectrum.
[01:04:45.520]Thursday, we'll focus on Artemis Accords,
[01:04:48.470]and then Friday's session is focused
[01:04:50.670]on national security space.
[01:04:52.210]So thank you again, Peter, Julia, Timiebi.
[01:04:56.210]Thank you so much.
[01:04:57.690]Thanks for the invitation.
[01:04:58.873]It was a great discussion.
[01:05:00.658]Thank you, as well.
[01:05:01.491]Thank you, good bye.
[01:05:03.368]Thank you, look forward to staying in touch.
[01:05:11.465](distortion and repeat)
Log in to post comments