FG Signs Broadband Partnership Deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

December 15, 2022
Elon Musk's SpaceX

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has announced that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nationwide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule.

This came as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Nigeria and also announced the partnership with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria.

These two events took place at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders’ Forum (USALF), happening in Washington DC, United States of America. The summit was hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States and brought together leaders from across Africa.

The announcement was made at the US-Space Forum, where Mr Pantami also served as a speaker, a statement issued on Thursday by Mr Pantami’s Technical Assistant (Research & Development), Mr Femi Adeluyi, disclosed.

Mr Pantami signed the Accords to signal Nigeria’s participation in the next phase of space exploration to be coordinated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

President Paul Kagame also announced Rwanda’s endorsement of the Accord, making Nigeria and Rwanda the first two African countries to sign the Accord, meaning they are the 22nd and 23rd in the world, respectively.

In the statement, it was revealed that the signing took place on December 13, 2022, at the US-Africa Space Forum-A side event at the USALF.

Speaking at the event, NASA Administrator Mr Bill Nelson, said, “I’m thrilled Nigeria and Rwanda are committing to the safe, sustainable use of outer space. In an era where more nations than ever have space programs, today’s signings highlight a growing commitment to ensuring space exploration is conducted responsibly.”

He also stated that “as the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords, Nigeria and Rwanda exemplify the global reach of the accords and are demonstrating their leadership in space exploration.”

Artemis Accords were established by NASA in 2020 as a set of principles to guide the next phase of space exploration, reinforcing and providing for important operational implementation of key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The Accords also serve to reinforce the commitment of the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as guidelines and best practices NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.

The Minister, when announcing Nigeria’s partnership with SpaceX, said the application was approved as a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Operator in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

As part of the partnership, “SpaceX is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nationwide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule, as outlined in our National Broadband Plan.”

With this collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, Nigeria is set to be the 1st African country to introduce the service. The nationwide rollout shall take place before the end of 2022, after the conclusion of a few administrative processes.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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