Microsoft ADC Lagos informs employees set to shut down due to economic challenges

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Microsoft’s African Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos, Nigeria, is reportedly on the brink of closure due to economic difficulties in the country.

Insiders revealed to The Guardian that Microsoft’s management has informed employees about the impending closure.

While Microsoft has yet to make an official announcement, it is understood that affected employees will continue to receive their salaries until June and will maintain their health insurance coverage.

When contacted, a representative from Microsoft’s Lagos office neither confirmed nor denied the reports, stating, “I cannot comment on that at this time. Thank you.”

The exact cause of the potential closure is uncertain, but industry experts believe it may be related to Nigeria’s current economic climate. However, the ADC in Nairobi, Kenya, which serves East Africa, is reportedly not affected.

The ADC, established in 2022 as part of Microsoft’s $100 million investment in Africa, was designed to promote technological solutions to local and global challenges. The centre was inaugurated by Prof. Isah Pantami, the former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State.

Gafar Lawal, the Managing Director of Microsoft ADC, West Africa, expressed optimism at the launch, stating, “We planned to hire 500 full-time engineers by the end of the year or by 2023. However, we have already exceeded 500. This demonstrates the wealth of talent we have in Africa.”

Since its inception, the ADC has reportedly employed 120 engineers and over 200 staff in total in Nigeria. Microsoft has emphasized its commitment to harnessing Africa’s engineering talent and creating a global impact through innovative solutions.

The ADC facility in Lagos also hosted the Microsoft Garage, which is designed to foster innovation in the tech ecosystem. Microsoft’s expanded presence in Africa aimed to empower partners and customers, particularly in sectors such as FinTech, AgriTech, and OffGrid energy.

Despite the potential closure of the Lagos centre, Microsoft’s commitment to African talent and innovation remains strong. However, the fate of the ADC highlights the challenges facing technological development in Nigeria amidst economic uncertainties.

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