Microsoft Shuts Down Nigeria’s Africa Dev’t Centre, Sacks Workers

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Microsoft, the American tech giant, has reportedly closed its Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos, Nigeria, and laid off all its workers at the facility.

The ADC was part of Microsoft’s ambitious initiative in Africa, focused on developing local solutions with global impact while creating employment opportunities and fostering technological innovation on the continent.

According to a report, the reasons for the layoffs and the shutdown of the Lagos facility remained unclear at this point.

The ADC, established in May 2019, aimed to create innovative technologies not just for Africa but for the entire world. At the time of its establishment, Microsoft called for talented engineers to work on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mixed reality. The company had also pledged to invest $100 million into the centre during its first five years of operation.

The Lagos facility was officially opened on March 21, 2022. Microsoft envisioned the centre housing product engineering, ecosystem development, and innovation teams. It also included the Microsoft Garage, a novel entity launched to boost innovation in the African tech ecosystem.

Microsoft’s investment in the ADC was meant to harness the continent’s wealth of engineering talent, providing local solutions with global scalability. The centre in Nigeria, alongside a similar facility in Kenya, was designed to advance this goal.

Despite this ambitious vision, the sudden closure of the ADC in Lagos and the laying off of its staff highlight the challenges global technology companies face in the dynamic African market. Microsoft was yet to release a formal statement on the development.

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