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France Telecom wins Niger licence

Consortium led by France Telecom wins lucrative mobile licence for Niger.

The government of Niger has awarded a fixed-mobile-internet licence to a consortium led by France Telecom, for euro48 million ($71.1 million).

France Telecom joined forces with two private investors for the bid: Mohamed Rissa, a business leader from Niger who specialises in telecom and internet services, and Moctar Thiam, a long-standing investor in Orange Mali.

France Telecom said the investment is "fully in line with its targeted development strategy on high-growth markets," and that the deal will strengthen its presence in West Africa. France Telecom is already present in 12 African countries including five in West Africa.

With a population of around 13 million people, and a mobile penetration rate of less than 5%, France Telecom expects strong growth in the country.

The deal follows closely from France Telecom's recent acquisition of a 51% stake in Telkom Kenya for $390 million.