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Microsoft Contemplates Closing Lagos Development Centre

Reports indicate that Microsoft, a US-based multinational tech company, has explored the possibility of shutting down one of its facilities in Nigeria, specifically the African Development Center in Lagos. This potential move would deal a significant blow to Nigeria’s rapidly evolving tech industry. The ADC is situated in Lagos’ Ikoyi neighborhood, which serves as the commercial heart of Nigeria and boasts the largest economy in Africa. If confirmed, this decision would have far-reaching implications for the country’s technological landscape, potentially impacting job opportunities and industry innovation.

Microsoft reportedly notified its staff on Monday about the potential closure of the African Development Center in Lagos, without providing any specific reasons. Employees affected by this decision are expected to receive salary payments until June and maintain their health insurance coverage.

While the exact motives behind this decision remain unclear, sources suggest that Nigeria’s deteriorating economic conditions may have influenced the deliberations. According to reports, the closure is anticipated to affect only the ADC’s operations in West Africa, specifically in Nigeria, leaving its facility in Nairobi, Kenya unaffected.

In 2019, Microsoft launched its African Development Centers initiative with a $100 million investment, establishing centers in both Lagos and Nairobi. The Nigerian ADC, launched in 2022, initially hired over 120 engineers and expanded to employ more than 200 staff members. Microsoft had set ambitious recruitment goals, aiming to hire 100 full-time engineers by the end of 2019 and 500 engineers by the end of 2023, with a focus on fostering innovation in sectors such as fintech, agritech, and off-grid energy.

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Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president, emphasized the unique nature of the ADC initiative, highlighting its role in better serving customers, fostering local development, and achieving global impact. Gafar Lawal, Managing Director of Microsoft ADC West Africa, expressed optimism about the talent pool in Africa, surpassing recruitment expectations.

The Lagos Center was established with the goal of developing technology solutions to address challenges both within Africa and globally. Microsoft also emphasized the opportunities this initiative creates for engineers to work meaningfully from their home countries and contribute to a global engineering and development network.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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