ICANN's Investment in Africa Enables Safer, Faster Internet Access Across the Continent

ICANN’s Investment in Africa Enables Safer, Faster Internet Access Across the Continent

The Fifth Global Cluster of ICANN-Managed Root Servers Goes Live in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya, November 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Users of Africa will soon benefit from faster access to services on the Internet and better protection against cyberattacks. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in cooperation with its regional partners, is rolling out a new ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) cluster in Nairobi, Kenya. ICANN is a global, not-for-profit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS) and plays a key role in ensuring a global, interoperable, and secure Internet.

An IMRS cluster can improve the DNS infrastructure in any country, territory or region of the world. It is essential for boosting internet access and enhancing internet stability. The IMRS cluster will reduce the impact of potential cyberattacks through Africa. One of the most common types of attacks, distributed denial of service attacks, work by overwhelming servers with a flood of requests or internet traffic. IMRS clusters offer higher bandwidth and data processing capacity to alleviate some of this traffic.

“Improving users’ access to the Internet by Africa, and their security while using them, is part of ICANN’s mission to help make the Internet more secure, stable, and resilient around the world,” said Göran Marby, President and CEO of 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 their support and commitment to advancing internet accessibility through 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. We are proud to help bring a more Internet resilient to a wider audience in Africa“said Hon. Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Digital Economy – Republic of Kenya.

Installation of this IMRS cluster in Africa ensures that Internet requests can be answered within the region, which limits its dependence on networks and servers in other parts of the world. The IMRS cluster also builds national and regional resilience by helping Root Server traffic stay local.

“This project is the result of years of collaboration between the local and regional technical community, ICANN, and others. We recognize that having the IMRS cluster at the Kenya Exchange Point (KIXP) will improve internet services on our continent for internet users through the presence of operators from across the continent at KIXP,” said Fiona Asonga, Managing Director of Technology Service Providers at Kenyaa non-profit organization representing the interests of technology service providers Kenya.

ICANN has been actively engaging with the African technical community since the early 2000s. It provides capacity development to many technical organizations, working closely with the African Network Operators Group and partners such as the Organization African Top-Level Domains and the African Networks Information Centre.

There are five IMRS clusters worldwide, two in North Americaone in Europeone in Asiaand the most recent in Africa. Three additional IMRS clusters will be installed over the next two years.

ICANN encourages qualified network operators to host IMRS instances in their country or region to serve root data. The parties interested in Africa can contact ICANN at: [email protected].

Media resources:

ICANN in Africa FAQs

ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) FAQ


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

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