Microsoft Sets To Close West Africa Operations Centre

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Microsoft, one of the biggest American multinational technology companies is considering the closure of its African Development Centre in Lagos. It was learnt that the affected employees would receive salary payments till June and continue to be covered by health insurance. Microsoft reportedly informed staff members on Monday of the closure plans. While the precise motives behind the decision remain ambiguous, sources suggest Nigeria’s challenging economic conditions may have played a role in arriving at the decision.

According to the report, the closure appears to affect only the ADC’s West Africa operations in Nigeria, not its East Africa facility in Nairobi, Kenya. An unnamed source within Microsoft’s Lagos office neither confirmed nor refuted the closure when approached.

Microsoft launched its $100 million African Development Centers initiative in 2019, establishing facilities in both Lagos and Nairobi.

The Nigeria centre employed over 120 engineers when it was launched in 2022, growing to more than 200 staff members in total.

The company in 2019 aimed to recruit 100 full-time engineers by the end of the year, and 500 engineers by the end of 2023. Microsoft is betting on African innovation in fields like fintech, agritech and off-grid energy and hopes to tap into them.

“The ADC will be unlike any other existing investment on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact,” Microsoft executive vice president Phil Spencer said in Nairobi. 

“Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage further with African partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.”

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