ICANN Sets Up Root Server Cluster in Nairobi to Alleviate DoS Attacks

ICT CS Eliud Owalo, CA Director General Ezra Chiloba, together with others including ICANN CEO Göran Marby and TESPOK CEO Fiona Asonga at the launch of IMRS Cluster in Nairobi today.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN has today unveiled a new ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) for the African market. This is key because one of these facilities is based here in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was graced by the ICT and Digital Economy CS Eliud Owalo who took over from Joe Mucheru, as well as CA Kenya’s Director General Ezra Chiloba.

To note, ICANN had announced that the clusters would be brought to the continent back in April 2022.

So, what does this development mean? First, internet users will now have faster access to services on the web in this region. At the same time, these internet users will have better protection from cyberattacks.

IMRS clusters play a key role in improving Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure in any region or country in the world, this time in Kenya and Africa at large. Its novelty is basically accelerating internet access while keeping users safe from attacks. ICANN says that this cluster will be essential in reducing the potential of cyberattacks in the continent,

To note, the most common type of attack is distributed denial-of-service attack, which overwhelms servers with a ton of requests or internet traffic. However, this can be addressed with an IMRS cluster, which offers a robust bandwidth and data processing capacity to counter some of that traffic.

This development also implies that internet queries will be answered within this region. Thusly, Africa will rely less on networks and servers in other parts of the globe. In the same breath, the cluster will be key to boosting regional resilience by helping root server traffic stay local.

ICANN is a global organization that coordinates the DNS and plays a role in ensuring global, interoperable and secure internet.

There are 5 IMRS clusters in the globe. Two of them are found in North America, one in Asia, another one in Europe, and the new one in Africa.

Two more clusters will be added in the next two years.


“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 resilient Internet to a larger audience in Africa,” said Hon. Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary for Information, communications, and the Digital Economy, Republic of Kenya.

“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 word,” said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO. “The installation of this new MRS 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.”

“This project is the result of years of collaboration between the local and regional 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 due to the presence of carriers from across the continent at KIXP,” said Fiona Asonga, Chief Executive Officer TESPOK.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]