Internet users in Africa will soon have quicker access to online services and improved cybersecurity. In collaboration with its regional partners, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is establishing a new ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) cluster in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is managed by ICANN, a global non-profit organization that is essential to ensuring a secure, open, and interoperable Internet.
Any nation, territory, or area of the world that uses DNS infrastructure can benefit from an IMRS cluster. It is essential for boosting Internet access and enhancing its reliability. In Africa, the IMRS cluster would limit the effects of any cyberattacks. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, one of the most prevalent forms of assaults, function by flooding servers with requests or Internet traffic. Higher bandwidth and data processing power are provided by IMRS clusters to reduce part of that traffic.
“Improving users’ access to the Internet in Africa, and their safety while using it, is part of ICANN’s mission to help make the Internet more secure, stable, and resilient across the world,” said Göran Marby, President and CEO at ICANN. “The installation of this new IMRS cluster would not have been possible without the participation of the local community. We are grateful to the Kenyan government for its support and commitment to advancing Internet accessibility across Africa.”
“The installation of the IMRS cluster aligns with our mission to digitally transform not only our own country but the entire continent, through regulation, partnership, and innovation,” said Hon. Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy – Republic of Kenya. “We are proud to help bring a more resilient Internet to a larger audience in Africa.”
By putting in place this IMRS cluster in Africa, the continent would be less reliant on networks and servers in other areas of the world for the purpose of responding to Internet searches. The IMRS cluster also increases local, state, and regional resilience by facilitating local root server traffic.
“This project is the result of years of collaboration between the local and regional technical community, ICANN, and others,” said Fiona Asonga, CEO of the Technology Service Providers of Kenya, a non-profit organization representing the interests of technology service providers in Kenya. “We recognize that having the IMRS cluster at the Kenya exchange point (KIXP) will improve Internet services on our continent for Internet users due to the presence of carriers from across the continent at KIXP.”
Since the beginning of the millennium, ICANN has been actively interacting with the technical community in Africa. Working together with partners like the Africa Top Level Domains Organization and the African Network Information Centre, it develops the ability of several technical organizations.
There are five IMRS clusters worldwide, including two in North America, one in each of Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the upcoming two years, three more IMRS clusters will be added.