The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international non-profit organisation, announced on Monday 28 February the establishment of two new root server clusters on the African continent. The new facility is part of the drive to improve Internet access on the continent.
Internet users in Africa will soon benefit from faster access and better protection against cyber attacks thanks to the installation of the two root server clusters on the continent. In an effort to boost connectivity in Africa, ICANN has decided to install two new root server clusters on the continent. For the installation, one cluster will be located in Kenya while the location of the second cluster is not yet known.
Broadband connectivity in Africa coming soon
Indeed, this Californian company, which knows how to maintain a reliable and secure global internet, wants to help Africa improve the quality of its network. For ICANN, this is the first investment of its kind in Africa. Thus, the two technical infrastructures will allow Internet requests from Africa to be processed in the region, without depending on networks and servers located elsewhere in the world. According to the international organisation they ” will reduce the loading time of websites, especially during peak Internet usage. This will bring immediate benefits to Internet users across the continent ”. ICANN is making this investment in line with the Partner2Connect digital coalition launched on 20 September 2021 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). As such, this coalition will need to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation on a global scale.
A project to combat cyber attacks
The risk of cyberattack has increased since 2020 in Africa. The continent has become the site of an unprecedented technological revolution and is therefore more exposed than ever to the risk of cybercrime. In June 2020, the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA) successfully thwarted a cyber attack by an Egyptian-based actor called the Cyber Horus Group. According to the NHI, the aim of the attack was to put “enormous economic, psychological and political pressure on the country” in connection with the filling of the Nile Renaissance Dam.
These attacks demonstrate the rise of cyber threats and the risk they pose to African security. Other cybercriminal activities include sabotage, spying, piracy, organised crime, etc. Root servers will reduce the impact of a possible cyber attack in Africa. This technical reinforcement will allow for higher bandwidth and data processing capacity, thus reducing the risk of internet outages. A helping hand from ICANN that Africa needs to protect itself against destabilization via the networks.