Pan-continental ISP (Internet service provider) Africa Online Ltd. has acquired MenaNet Communications S.A.E. for US$7.8 million and is now offering service in Egypt.

The deal fits with Africa Online’s plans for growth and forms the foundation for the company’s strategy in North Africa and the Middle East, according to Ayisi Makatiani, the company co-founder and group chief executive who recently announced the acquisition. Before moving into Egypt, Africa Online operated in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, Swaziland, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

MenaNet, Egypt’s second largest ISP, will keep its brand name in Egypt. Africa Online intends to pump money into boosting MenaNet’s presence in various Egyptian cities, including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Hurghada, as well as in Sinai. Part of the plan includes hiring additional employees to augment the 60 who work for MenaNet, which has 7,300 dialup customers.

Plans include introducing high-speed Internet access, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and various DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technologies to customers in Egypt.

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