Microsoft’s Surprise Move to Close African Development Center in Lagos

Microsoft Africa Development Center via

The Nigerian technology community is in an uproar following a surprise decision of Microsoft, reportedly planning to shut down its African Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos. This unexpected development has left employees reeling, as the management informed them of the decision on Monday, May 6th.

According to sources from Microsoft ADC Nigeria, affected staff members may receive their salaries until June and retain their health insurance coverage. However, the exact details surrounding the closure and the fate of the employees remain uncertain.

The establishment of the Microsoft ADC in Lagos was part of a significant $100 million initiative launched in 2022, aimed at fostering local tech talent and driving innovation. The center was envisioned as a hub for recruiting hundreds of engineers to develop cutting-edge solutions in sectors such as fintech, agritech, and off-grid energy.

At its inception, the Lagos ADC boasted over 200 staff members, including 120 engineers, with ambitious plans for further expansion. However, the recent decision to close this facility has raised concerns within the broader Microsoft ADC network across Africa.

In Nairobi, Kenya, where Microsoft operates another ADC, employees are reportedly anxious and seeking clarity about the future of their positions. Speculations surrounding the closure of the Lagos center have fueled fears that the Nairobi facility might also face challenges, despite its recent relocation to a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the reports of the ADC Lagos closure or provide insights into the reasons behind this decision. The potential closure does not appear to directly impact Microsoft’s operations in East Africa, particularly the ADC facility in Nairobi, which remains a cornerstone of the company’s commitment to developing technology solutions for local and global challenges.

The Nairobi ADC, now housed at the prestigious Dunhill Towers along Waiyaki Way, employs over 450 full-time staff and features entities like the Microsoft Garage and the Microsoft Research Institute (MARI). This center is considered a vital component of Microsoft’s strategy to deeply integrate with local tech ecosystems and academic institutions, reflecting the company’s vision of tailoring its solutions to address specific regional needs.

As the news of the ADC Lagos closure continues to reverberate through the African tech landscape, the broader implications of this decision remain to be seen. Stakeholders and industry observers alike are eagerly awaiting official communication from Microsoft, seeking clarity on the company’s long-term plans for its African operations and its commitment to nurturing local talent and innovation across the continent.



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