Law, College of


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2016, vol. 59 (2017), pp. 547–559.


Copyright © 2017 Frans von der Dunk. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Eleven International Publishing. Used by permission.


The number of countries with more or less comprehensive national space legislation addressing in particular the authorization and supervision of private space activities continues to grow, and several more countries are currently in the process of adding themselves to that list. One of the more recent and most interesting ones among them is Nigeria, as the second African country after South Africa and—after Brazil—the second leading spacefaring nation from the developing world, to draft, further to a fairly recently established succinct framework law, a set of regulations addressing precisely those issues.

The paper briefly recaps the underlying international obligations, in particular as following from Articles VI, VII, and VIII of the Outer Space Treaty, the Liability Convention, and the Registration Convention, Nigeria being a party to all three. It then proceeds to analyze the 2010 National Space Research and Development Agency Act and the 2015 draft Regulations on the Licensing and Supervision of Space Activities from the above perspective. It will compare the Nigerian legislation as needed or helpful with other national space laws already pronounced on those issues, and in doing so will take Nigeria’s role as leading African nation in outer space in this respect into consideration. This will finally allow for some conclusions as to the contribution to the further development of (international and national) space law represented by these Nigerian legislative efforts.