Microsoft opened a facility in Lagos, Nigeria for its ‘African Development Center (ADC)’ on Monday.
Launched in May 2019, ADC is Microsoft’s initiative in Africa for an engineering hub to provide local solutions with global scalability as well as provide employment opportunities and further enhance technological innovations on the continent. Since its launch, ADC has hired 120 engineers and more than 200 total employees in Nigeria.
“We intended to recruit 500 full-time engineers by the end of the year or by 2023. However, currently, we have exceeded 500. This is to tell you about the abundance of talents we have in Africa. Gafar Lawal, Managing Director, Microsoft African Development Centre,” West Africa said.
The new ADC facility in Lagos will also house the Microsoft Garage, a new entity, launched as part of ongoing efforts to scale innovation in the tech ecosystem. An increased Microsoft presence in Africa will empower partners and customers as they use Microsoft solutions in fields important to the continent like FinTech, AgriTech and OffGrid energy.
Olatomiwa Williams, the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana described the ADC as a platform that supports Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. The ADC s the first Global Development Centre in Africa with a combined expected investment of US $100 million over the first five years of operation, according to Williams.
“Nigeria remains a Gateway to investments in Africa hence the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed delight over $200million worth in investment by Microsoft in an edifice housing its office and the African Development Centre (ADC) as landmark projects that will accelerate the digital transformation, not just in the country, but also on the continent,” Isa Pantami, Nigeria's Minister of Communications and Digital Economy said during the commissioning of the multi-million dollars facility.
Pantami added that “Nigeria is both a geographic and an economic gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. As a geographic gateway, we have a prime location between West and Central Africa. Partnership with Nigeria essentially gives investors access to close to 550 million people- over 200 million from Nigeria, another 200 million West Africans and about 150 million Central Africans.”
Meanwhile, the Nairobi office will be commissioned on the 25th of March, 2022.