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FACT CHECK: How did NRS member Cloud Innovation bring over 10 million IP addresses to Africa?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023


AFRINIC's former management has claimed that AFRINIC member Cloud Innovation has taken 6 million IPs off the African continent.

This widespread rumor has fueled numerous separatism and nationalism on the Internet and created a series of conspiracy theories. However, is it true?


NRS has fact checked AFRINIC's claims.

The truth seems to be the opposite of these claims. Cloud Innovation has brought at least 10 million IPs to AFRINIC, directly benefiting individuals and businesses across Africa.

Without Cloud Innovation, these IPs would have gone to other RIRs at the expense of Africa.

This is how NRS calculated the real figures that show AFRINIC's ex-CEO Eddy Kayihura's claims are inaccurate and possibly misleading.


The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) holds the entire free pool of IP addresses. They distribute IP addresses to ISPs worldwide through Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) based on the collective need for IP addresses for that RIR's customers. In other words, a regional internet registry is designed to be a distribution channel. It does not have the power to claim ownership of IP addresses.


There are five equal distribution channels worldwide. Hence, there are five RIRs.


If an ISP chooses distribution channel A (for example AFRINIC) instead of distribution channel B (for example RIPE), they are enlarging the pool of distribution in channel A instead of taking resources away from it.


That is what Cloud Innovation did.


AFRINIC's former management twisted this fact and claimed that Cloud Innovation has taken resources away from Africa. Such claims by AFRINIC's ex-CEO Eddy Kayihura are not founded on truth.

The facts supporting Cloud Innovation are written clearly in the allocation policy on ICANN's website: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/allocation-ipv4-rirs-2012-02-25-en#:~:text=Allocation%20Principles,least%20an%2018%20month%20period

As the policy clearly states, and we quote:

Allocation Principles

The IANA will allocate IPv4 address space to the RIRs in /8 (16 million IPs) units.

The IANA will allocate sufficient IPv4 address space to the RIRs to support their registration needs for at least an 18-month period.

Since Cloud Innovation applied for 6 million IPs from AFRINIC, it increased AFRINIC's pool of IPs by 16 million. In other words, AFRINIC directly benefited from the request because the minimum allocation size AFRINIC got from IANA was 16 million.

Hence, AFRINIC got an extra 16 million from Cloud Innovation's requests -- and possibly more.


Of that 16 million new IP addresses, 6 million IP addresses were allocated to Cloud Innovation. The remaining 10 million IPs have been granted to other AFRINIC members.

AFRINIC would not have gotten this massive bulk of IP address blocks without Cloud Innovation's request.


However, it's unclear why AFRINIC's former leadership chooses to bend the facts. Instead of encouraging business growth in Africa, AFRINIC made matters worse by briefing media organizations that IP addresses are a kind of resource "grown out of African land."

This is misleading because all available IP addresses come from ONE global free pool called IANA.


AFRINIC's claims are wrong.


NRS believes that AFRINIC's former management knew what they were saying was factually inaccurate. AFRINIC may have purposely lied to journalists and media organizations—many of whom don't have a technical understanding of how IP addresses are allocated—to try and cover up their mismanagement and failure.


After fact-checking, NRS can confirm that AFRINIC's ex-management's claims are misleading. The fact is that Cloud Innovation has provided at least an additional 10 million IP addresses to Africa.


We believe that business-driven innovation can move Africa forward. We hope that you join us in fighting for the growth of businesses in the continent.


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