Microsoft’s African Development Centre (ADC) located in the prestigious Ikoyi area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is set to shut down, jeopardizing approximately 200 jobs. The decision, announced to staff members on Monday, came without a clear explanation from Microsoft.

Affected employees will receive salary payments until June and maintain health insurance coverage, according to sources cited by The Guardian Newspaper. While the exact reasons for the closure remain undisclosed, it is speculated that Nigeria’s challenging economic conditions may have influenced the decision.

The closure seems to impact only the West Africa operations in Nigeria, with the East Africa facility in Nairobi, Kenya, remaining unaffected.

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Microsoft initiated its $100 million African Development Centers initiative in 2019, establishing centers in both Lagos and Nairobi. The Lagos ADC, unveiled in 2022, initially employed over 120 engineers, later expanding to more than 200 staff members.

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Despite the setback, Microsoft remains committed to fostering African innovation, particularly in sectors such as fintech, agritech, and off-grid energy. The company aimed to recruit 100 full-time engineers by the end of 2019 and 500 engineers by the end of 2023, demonstrating its confidence in the region’s potential for growth and innovation.

Microsoft executive vice president Phil Spencer emphasized the unique opportunity presented by the ADC, highlighting its role in listening to customers, local development, and global impact. He underscored the importance of collaboration with African partners, academia, governments, and developers to drive innovation and make a meaningful difference across various sectors on the continent.