ICANN-managed root server clusters to strengthen African Internet infrastructure

ICANN to enable faster and more robust connectivity in Kenya with installation of the cluster.

ISTANBULFeb. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Netizens in Africa will soon benefit from faster access and better protection against cyberattacks, thanks to the installation of two root server clusters. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global non-profit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System and plays a key role in ensuring a global, interoperable, and secure Internet, announced that they are installing two new ICANN and will manage Managed Root Server (IMRS) clusters in Africaone of which is confirmed Kenya. This is ICANN’s first investment of its kind in Africa.


Today, 33 percent of the population lives in Africa have access to the internet. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the number of people using the Internet is increasing in Africa grew by 23 percent between 2019 and 2021. This growth is being driven by a digitally savvy, young and educated urban workforce for whom adopting and consuming online services has become second nature.

The deployment of the IMRS clusters will add critical capacity to support the growth of Internet usage everywhere Africa. This in turn will support economic growth and open up opportunities for a large proportion of new internet users. The clusters ensure that Internet requests are Africa can be answered within the region and are not dependent on networks and servers in other parts of the world, reducing latency and improving the Internet user experience across the region.

“Expansion of our infrastructure in Africa is consistent with ICANN’s mission to ensure that the Internet remains secure, stable and resilient worldwide,” said Göran Marby, President and CEO of ICANN. “The addition of the clusters Africa is an important step in stimulating internet access and strengthening internet stability across the continent. Of course, this could only be achieved with the participation of the local community. We thank the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth in Kenya for their support in building the IMRS cluster in their country and for their commitment to advancing the Internet on the continent.”

By enabling meaningful connectivity in AfricaICANN – a member of the Telecommunications Development Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-D) – also contributes to the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition initiative’s goal of bringing connectivity and digital transformation to “hard-to-reach” communities.

“The Partner2Connect Digital Coalition is a game-changing opportunity for the ICT sector to take a holistic approach, catalyze new partnerships and mobilize the resources needed to connect those who are still offline,” he said Doreen Bogdan Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. I applaud ICANN’s commitment to Partner2Connect’s goals of delivering critical Internet infrastructure Africa and drive universal connectivity and digital transformation.”

Josef Mucheru, EGH, Cabinet Secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth welcomed the investment. “This initiative is a welcome positive development both in line with the African Digital Transformation Strategy (2020-2030) and in particular of Kenya Digital Economy Blueprint, which identifies infrastructure as one of the five key pillars necessary for the digital transformation of the economy. We would therefore like to thank ICANN for their trust in the selection Kenya once again as one of the hosts of this important infrastructure that would not only serve Kenyabut the rest Africa and the world. The implementation of this initiative will be of immense importance in accelerating the digital transformation agenda Kenya.”

The clusters reduce the time it takes to load a website, especially when there are spikes in internet usage. This will bring immediate benefits to everyday internet users across the continent. Perhaps most importantly, the new IMRS clusters will mitigate the impact of a potential cyberattack on the continent. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber attacks work by overloading servers with a barrage of requests. With two separate IMRS cluster sites and higher bandwidth and data processing capacity, the risk of internet failure due to a cyber attack is significantly reduced. Increased capacity reduces the effects of attacks.

This project is part of a larger ICANN initiative to expand the global footprint of their root servers by adding the two ICANN operated and managed clusters Africa to the existing clusters in North America, Asia and Europe.

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Frequently asked questions about ICANN in Africa

Frequently asked questions about ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS).

ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach someone on the Internet, you must enter an address—a name or a number—into your computer or other device. This address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers around the world. ICANN was founded in 1998 as a not-for-profit, not-for-profit corporation and community with participants from around the world.

ICANN in Africa FAQ -EN
ICANN in Africa FAQ -EN

PDF – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1755476/IMRS_FAQ_En.pdf
PDF – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1755479/ICANN_In_Africa_EN.pdf

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