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200 jobs at risk as Microsoft considers closing major investment in Nigeria

Some tech experts and industry sources have said the country's current economic challenges may have influenced this action.

Microsoft considers closing major Nigerian investment [Getty Images]

According to The Guardian, the firm's management had already reached out to staff intimating them of the sudden development. It was also revealed that the affected staff have been promised their salaries till June, 2024.

Microsoft’s ADC was first launched in Kenya and Nigeria in 2022 as the company planned to further increase their presence in the continent. The firm noted that the launching of its first Africa Development Centre (ADC) with two initial sites in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria, “will serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talent can create solutions for local and global impact.”

However, only the Lagos-based Nigerian office is affected in this latest development.

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The Lagos office housed the product engineering, ecosystem development and innovation teams. The Microsoft Garage, a new entity launched as part of the ongoing efforts to scale innovation in the tech ecosystem was also part of the set up.

The ADC upon its launch in 2022, employed over 120 engineers and increased to over 200 staff members.

According to the ADC West Africa Managing Director, Gafar Lawal,The facility will continue our efforts towards training, equipping and hiring engineering talent in Nigeria and West Africa as whole to contribute to the development of Microsoft products that are in use by over 1 billion devices and empowering millions of users and organisations across the world to do more.”

At the time, Cynthia Wasonga, a software engineer in Microsoft had noted the effect the firm's presence in Africa would have on university students and fresh graduates.

To build our talent pipeline, we’re also partnering with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum, totally unique to Africa. Graduates will have access to the ADC to build a relevant and meaningful career in data science, AI, mixed reality, application development and many more.” she said.

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Although the immediate reason for the closure remains sketchy, some tech experts and industry sources have said the country's current economic challenges may have influenced the action.

The Guardian, however, reports that Microsoft is yet to confirm or deny the planned closure of its Lagos office as of yesterday.

In a related development, Microsoft has announced a $2.2 billion investment in Malaysia that will span the next four years to expand cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services in the company's latest push to promote its generative AI technology in Asia.

The investment, which is Microsoft's largest in its 32-year history in Malaysia, will open opportunities in AI cloud for over 200,000 individuals supporting the country's developers.

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