ARAB-AFRICAN AFFAIRS - Feb. 12 - Africa Online Buys Egypt's MenaNet.The pan-African internet service provider Internet service provider (ISP)
Company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. For a monthly fee, ISPs provide computer users with a connection to their site (see data transmission), as well as a log-in name and password. (ISP (1) See in-system programmable.
(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines. ) Africa Online Africa Online was started in 1994 by three Kenyan students at MIT. It developed from an online community hosted at MIT called KenyaNet. KenyaNet was one of several Africa-focused online communities (the others were Okyeame (Ghana), Naijanet (Nigeria), and Salonet (Sierra Leone) acquires Egypt's MenaNet Communications for $8.7m, increasing its network to nine countries. (It is Africa's largest ISP outside South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , with the widest coverage, and the move into Egypt reflects an aggressive expansion strategy across the continent. MenaNet is Egypt's second largest ISP, with more than 7,300 dial-up subscribers. Analysts see Africa Online's ambitions as a positive force in a region suffering from a growing "digital divide". According to the International Telecommunications Union See ITU.
(body, standard) International Telecommunications Union - (ITU) ITU-T, the telecommunication standardisation sector of ITU, is responsible for making technical recommendations about telephone and data (including fax) communications systems for PTTs and suppliers. , Africa has only 36 internet users in 10,000 inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. , compared with 183 in Asia, 992 in Europe and 1,167 in the Americas. Only one in 100 Africans owns a personal computer and there are fewer than three internet hosts for every 10,000 people. Africa Online in 2000 announced a joint venture with UUNet in South Africa to create a 14-country African internet backbone, allowing it to shift its own focus from technical management to marketing. It has also launched a "clicks-and-bricks" alliance with Barclays Bank, and intends to develop web-based banking services and electronic payments systems.
Such growth had raised concerns that Africa Online was expanding too fast. But commentators were encouraged by UK-based African Lakes' decision last week to take control of the company. Ayisi Makatiani, the CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. , concedes his company is not yet profitable overall - but says that is due to the cost of its expansion activities. Africa Online has 33,000 dial-up subscribers and revenues of $1.3m a month, but sees the greatest potential in its "e-touch" centres. These are essentially cybercafes targeting Africans who cannot afford their own computers. Its 714 bureaus have attracted 26,000 active users in the first 15 months of operations. The company has recently introduced payment smart-cards for the network, and is expanding the franchise. While Egypt might appear to be outside his traditional sphere of operations, Makatiani says it, and the Middle East as a whole, offers many of the same challenges and opportunities as sub-Saharan Africa. "Egypt has 60m people, and fewer than 100,000 users", he says. "E-touch will allow us to reach many more people").