Kenya to host one of Africa’s two giant data hubs in bid to build cyber defences. (Credit: Unsplash)

Kenya to host one of Africa’s two giant data hubs in bid to build cyber defences

Kenya is to host one of the two giant data centres in Africa that is being implemented to improve Internet speeds and make it harder for cyber attackers.

The new data centres will have multiple servers with a high bandwidth to support spikes in traffic and provide strong defences against cyber hackers.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit corporation that coordinates the domain name systems, announced that it will set up two Root Server (IMRS) clusters; one of which will be in Kenya.

The organisation said: “The clusters ensure that Internet queries from Africa can be answered within the region, and not be dependent on networks and servers in other parts of the world, thus reducing latency and improving Internet user experience in the entire region.”

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru said the new infrastructure is in line with the African Digital Transformation Strategy (2020-2030) and also with Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint, which identifies infrastructure as one of the five key pillars necessary for the digital transformation of the economy.

Mr Mucheru said: “We, therefore, thank ICANN for their confidence in choosing Kenya one more time as one of the hosts of this important infrastructure that would serve not only Kenya, but the rest of Africa and the world.”

He added: “Implementation of this initiative will be of immense importance in accelerating the digital transformation agenda in Kenya.”

The new data hub is expected to boost Internet speeds and reduce the impact of cyberattacks due to higher bandwidth and data processing capacity which can combat the risk of the Internet going down because of a cyberattack.

Currently, there are four other such ICANN data centres globally, two in North America and one each in Europe and Asia. In a statement to newsrooms, the organisation said: “ICANN announced that it will install and manage two new ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) clusters in Africa, one of which is confirmed to be in Kenya. This is ICANN’s first-of-its-kind investment in Africa.”

The company says it is expanding its infrastructure in Africa as part of a mission to ensure that the Internet remains secure, stable and resilient across the world.

The organisation’s announcement is a major boost to Kenya’s regional standing and provides the backbone for digital transformation in the country. The announcement also comes at a time when alerts for cybercrime and attacks are high.

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