Cooperation with the United States in the space sector is a crucial imperative for Cameroon , is a conviction held by President Paul Biya during the US Africa summit .
The Cameroonian president said so this week in Washington as he took part in the first-ever US-Africa space forum, held on the sidelines of a summit bringing together US and African leaders.
“Conquering space seems to me to be both an opportunity and an imperative. In this dynamic, cooperation with partner countries, which have a definite lead in this area, is essential,” said Paul Biya. A hand extended that the United States will certainly not refuse. The State Department reassures that the Biden administration is ready to collaborate with African countries in the peaceful exploration of outer space.
Cameroon makes no secret of its interest in a probable collaboration with the United States. Yaoundé is first of all pleading for a transfer of technology that will help the national space project to take off permanently. It is recalled that in 2019, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng, created by decision a working group to conduct a feasibility study for a space programme called Camspace.
Paul Biya is in any case convinced that the time has come for his country to launch a satellite into space to help find sustainable responses to climate crises, urban disorder … and even the fight against terrorism. “My country believes that outer space should be put at the service of noble objectives, for the benefit of all. Cameroon is thus in favour of its use for peaceful purposes,” the Cameroonian president told the US-Africa space forum.
On the American side, there is an urgent need to extend the list of countries that have signed the Artemis agreements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the American federal agency responsible for most of the American civilian space programme. These agreements aim to send humans to the moon by 2024. But before doing so, NASA wants to create a legal framework to prevent the plundering of lunar minerals and water by creating a code of conduct.
In Africa, only Rwanda and Nigeria have already signed such agreements. NASA does not hide the fact that other African countries will soon sign them.