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Europe

FT Buys Again in Africa

5:00 AM -- Only days after announcing it will become the majority owner of Kenya's national operator, Orange (NYSE: FTE) is encore un fois splashing its euros in Africa. (See FT Adds to African Assets.)

This time it has stumped up €48 million ($71 million) for a license to offer fixed and mobile services in Niger, a former French colony.

The carrier, which will deploy its Orange brand in the north-west African country, sees strong growth opportunities in the mobile market –- only 5 percent of the country's 13 million population has a mobile phone, according to the French giant.

But there's a reason why few people have mobiles and why a license is so cheap: Niger's gross domestic product per person is just $1,000. That's even lower than Kenya's $1,200, and a fraction of the $31,200 GDP per person figure for France.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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