Microsoft Corporation opens up a $100 million African Development Centre (ADC) in the city of Lagos Nigeria. Nearly three decades after the tech giant first made a mark in Africa with its first office, it is set to make another mark in Nigeria’s digital space.
In attendance for the opening of the Microsoft ADC is Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President for the Identity Division in Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Group, Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne, Hakeem Fahm, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State; Gafar Lawal, Managing Director, Microsoft African Development Centre, West Africa; Olatomiwa Lawal, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General of NITDA and many others.
At the commissioning of the ADC, Prof. Pantami congratulated Microsoft Nigeria and the Microsoft global team on its landmark achievement in Nigeria. He added, “The choice of Nigeria is very strategic for many reasons, including our location, population, and economic status on the continent, our large pool of highly creative youth, and many more.” He further wooed other international corporations to borrow a leaf from Microsoft and key into the Ministry’s NDEPS as a platform for fostering collaborations and partnerships within the country.
The Microsoft ADC for West Africa is located at Ikoyi, Lagos state and will serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talent can create solutions for local and global impact. Microsoft ADC is 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 Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President for the Identity Division in Microsoft’s Cloud + AI group who made a statement at the opening said, Microsoft has witnessed and enjoyed growth on the African continent in various aspects ranging from internet connectivity to digital capability, and innovation. Microsoft Corporation is so pleased to do more for the continent that has been supportive of its growth in multiple ways.
Due to the exposure to advanced technological processes, Africans have expanded greatly on the applications of these technologies. Evidently, this technology has changed the way communities bank, farm and even access healthcare today. Chik disclosed that “At Microsoft, we’re very fortunate to have played a part in realizing this potential, building strong partnerships to accelerate digital transformation and create sustained societal impact.”
“A big milestone for this investment came earlier this year, as we opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centres in South Africa, promoting business innovation in the cloud. As the next step on our journey in Africa, and to better understand a continent rapidly adopting technology in the cloud, and at the edge, Microsoft today launched its Africa Development Centre (ADC) for West Africa located in Nigeria. With two initial sites in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria, the ADC will serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talent can create solutions for local and global impact.”
Gafar Lawal, Managing Director, Microsoft African Development Centre, West Africa, stressed that the Continent is poised for innovation at the intelligent edge. He further disclose that “Engineers have already started working, and we intended to recruit 500 full-time engineers by the end of the year by 2023. However, currently, we have exceeded 500. This is to tell you about the abundance of talents we have in Africa. Lawal also said, “Microsoft ADC is also partnering with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum, totally unique to Africa.” 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 organization on the planet to achieve more.