In terms of global space governance, the United National Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) is the only truly multilateral forum for the progressive development and codification of space law and norms guiding the actions of all states in matters pertaining to the peaceful use of outer space. However, with unprecedented technological advances and the increasing number of new spacefaring nations operating in space, including from Africa, there is increasing pressure on the UNCOPUOS to provide guidance and to be responsive in reacting to these challenges.
This study assesses the existing system of global space governance against the backdrop of its multilateral structure comprising international treaties, agreements, regulations and mechanisms. Within this framework, this research focuses on the role of Africa within the UNCOPUOS and interrogates the interaction between African spacefaring nations and the UNCOPUOS, highlighting the advantages of space cooperation for Africa, in an effort to motivate African nations to deal with the diplomatic challenges posed to African spacefaring nations.
The study also highlights the need to strengthen African agency in the UNCOPUOS and proposes that African spacefaring nations move beyond technical discussions to debate and influence international norm setting for space governance. African spacefaring nations thus need to engage at the standards setting table where they can push for standards based on principles of open access, interoperability and non-discrimination.
Mini Dissertation (MDiplomatic Studies)--University of Pretoria, 2019.