Meet Gafar Lawal, the New Managing Director of Microsoft’s African Development Centre in Nigeria

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Meet Gafar Lawal, the New Managing Director of Microsoft's African Development Centre in Nigeria
Gafar Lawal

Months ago, Microsoft opened the doors of its first Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Nigeria. With an aim to recruit the best engineering brains in Africa to develop innovative solutions, Microsoft has now appointed Gafar Lawal as Managing Director of its Nigerian ADC.

In this new role, Gafar will bring his years of leadership experience to ensure that the Nigerian-based team of engineers is able to develop solutions locally and scale globally. This is expected in fields that are important to the continent right now, like FinTech, AgriTech and OffGrid energy. 

Mr Lawal has over 2 decades of experience in various business and leadership positions. This new appointment also marks a return for Lawal to Microsoft, where he spent over 6 years (between 2007 – 2013) in his role as a Partner Architect.

His most recent appointment was at investment bank, Morgan Stanley, where he served as Managing Director and Global Chief Technology Architect for the Wealth Management Division.

Gafar Lawal, Managing Director of Microsoft’s Nigerian ADC

Lawal has also worked at Deloitte and Touche as a Senior Software Engineer as well as Merrill Lynch where he spent a decade as First Vice President and Chief Technology Architect.

Mike Fortin, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft made known his confidence in Lawal’s experience and skills.

“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…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.”

Mike Fortin, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft

On his part, Lawal is delighted with his appointment and looking to bring his extensive experience to the team.

“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,” Lawal said.

Congrats to him and hopefully under his leadership, the Africa Development Centre in Nigeria will cover more grounds leading Africa’s digital transformation.


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