Microsoft has appointed Gafar Lawal as the MD of its Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Nigeria, about 5 months since the company launched the facilities which aim to take on board talented budding African engineers, mentor and groom them then have them develop innovative solutions that can address the continent’s pressing challenges through technology.
Just like the ADC in Nairobi, Kenya, the Microsoft ADC in Nigeria was set up in May this year, taking on board up recruiting world-class Nigerian talent to create innovative solutions for global impact.
(TOP: Gafar Lawal, the MD of Microsoft’s Africa Development Centre in Nigeria. Photo: Naira Metrics).
An industry veteran, Lawal rejoins Microsoft from Morgan Stanley where he served as the MD and Global Chief Technology Architect for the Wealth Management Division in the Greater New York area, a position he held for almost 3 years from August 2013 till mid 2016.
Prior to this time at Morgan Stanley, Lawal spent over six years working at Microsoft’s US headquarters in Redmond, Wisconsin as Partner Architect in the Windows server group and Windows phone services division. He also spent a decade as the First VP and Chief Technology Architect at Merrill Lynch.
“The ADC is unlike any other existing investment on the continent – enabling us to better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact – in the grand scheme of things, presenting a strategic opportunity for us to comprehend a continent that is rapidly adopting cloud technology and massive innovation at the intelligent edge,” says Mike Fortin, the Corporate VP at Microsoft. “We’ve been actively sourcing talent to join our team of engineers and are delighted to have Gafar bring his leadership skills to the team.”
ADC engineers are already working with local partners and customers on key issues for Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the world.
Through the creation of an employment pipeline, local graduates and experienced technologists from industry can join Microsoft at the ADC in Lagos to begin or continue exciting careers in areas that include AI, mixed reality, and application development – making meaningful contributions on a local and global scale.
“I am looking forward to embarking on this incredible new journey with the Microsoft team and effectively playing my part in bringing digital transformation to the continent at large. I hope that as we continue to not only identify and nurture talent but also bring about unprecedented change, that we will continue to aid every individual involved to achieve more,” concludes Lawal.
Lawal’s appointment to head Microsoft’s ADC in Nigeria follows the firm’s announcement of Jack Ngare as the head of the facility in Nairobi, Kenya.