Microsoft confirms African Development Center layoffs but denies its closure

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May 8, 2024
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2 min read
Microsoft
  • Contrary to several local reports, Microsoft has not shut down its African Development Center (ADC) in Nigeria. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the Lagos facility is still operational.
  • During a call with Techpoint Africa, the spokesperson clarified that while the engineering team at the African Development Center in Lagos has been let go, the Microsoft office in Nigeria remains operational.
  • Although the exact reasons for the changes are not specified, the company said, "Organisational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business. We will continue to prioritise and invest in strategic growth areas for our future and in support of our customers and partners.”

It's worth noting that Microsoft has been implementing workforce adjustments and organisational changes since 2023 to align with global market conditions and meet customer needs.

In July 2023, the tech giant initiated layoffs, supplementing the 10,000 job reductions announced earlier in January of that year. Microsoft's continuous drive to streamline its operations and concentrate on strategic growth sectors necessitated these workforce changes.

Microsoft set up its African Development Center in Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 2019 to expand its engineering talent pool, focus on student and community engagements, and invest in Microsoft programmes.

The company emphasised its commitment to training, equipping, and hiring engineering talent in Nigeria and West Africa. These efforts were aimed at helping to develop Microsoft products that are used by over 1 billion devices, empowering millions of users and organisations globally to achieve more.

However, despite operating for five years, employing at least 120 engineers and more than 200 total staff members, the company has decided to part ways with the engineering team.

Meanwhile, local publications reported that affected employees are set to receive salary payments until June 2024 and will still be covered by health insurance.

As Microsoft lays off the engineering team, the future of its African Development Center in Lagos hangs in the balance. With the core team gone, questions arise about the facility's continuation. 

Speculation is rife about whether Microsoft will shutter its operations in Nigeria or consider AI-driven alternatives. However, indications point to the former, particularly in light of recent developments. On May 7, 2024, Microsoft’s Xbox announced plans to close several gaming studios, including the renowned Arkane Austin.

While the reasons for this decision remain unclear, it reflects broader economic challenges, such as foreign exchange concerns and unfavourable economic conditions, resulting in the closure of several international businesses across Nigeria.

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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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