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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

Microsoft’s groundbreaking African Development Center in Lagos to Cease Operations, sparking waves of both innovation and disappointment

The Nigerian technology community was jolted by Microsoft’s recent announcement of its intention to close the African Development Centre (ADC) located in Lagos. This unexpected decision sent shockwaves through the industry, leaving employees and stakeholders grappling with uncertainty.

Employees of the Lagos-based ADC were caught off guard when management broke the news on Monday, May 6th. While assurances have been made regarding salary payments until June and continued health insurance coverage, the specifics of the closure and the fate of the workforce remain shrouded in ambiguity.

The establishment of Microsoft’s ADC in Lagos was part of a visionary $100 million initiative launched in 2022. This initiative aimed to cultivate local tech talent and foster innovation in various sectors such as fintech, agritech, and renewable energy. Initially boasting a team of over 200 staff members, including 120 engineers, with plans for substantial expansion, the sudden decision to close the Lagos facility has left many disheartened.

Beyond the confines of Lagos, concerns reverberate across Microsoft’s broader ADC network in Africa. In Nairobi, Kenya, where another ADC operates, employees are anxious and seeking clarity about the future of their roles. Speculation surrounding the Lagos closure has fueled apprehension that the Nairobi facility may encounter similar challenges, despite its recent relocation to a state-of-the-art facility.

Microsoft’s Silence Amidst Speculation

Despite mounting speculation and widespread concern, Microsoft has remained notably silent on the reasons behind the closure of the Lagos ADC. This lack of transparency has left stakeholders and industry observers eager for official communication from the tech giant regarding its long-term plans for its African operations.

In contrast to the uncertain future of the Lagos ADC, Microsoft’s ADC in Nairobi stands as a beacon of stability. Situated in the prestigious Dunhill Towers along Waiyaki Way, the Nairobi facility hosts over 450 full-time staff members and features entities like the Microsoft Garage and the Microsoft Research Institute (MARI). With its focus on tailoring solutions to address regional needs, the Nairobi ADC underscores Microsoft’s commitment to African innovation.

As the news of the ADC Lagos closure continues to reverberate through the African tech landscape, stakeholders and industry observers alike are left pondering the broader implications of Microsoft’s decision. With all eyes on the tech giant, the continent awaits official communication, seeking clarity on Microsoft’s commitment to nurturing local talent and driving innovation across Africa.

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