In a bid to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and fast track the actualisation of its economic development goals, the Federal Government has partnered with Horasis, an international Think Tank renowned for hosting annual international economic summits, to organize the first Horasis Global Business meeting in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2021.
The Horasis Global Business meeting which has been competitively compared by media giant Bloomberg to the World Economic Forum in Davos, annually brings together over 500 CEOs of leading companies of the world alongside Heads of Governments (Presidents, Prime Ministers) to discuss and find practicable solutions to global problems.
To ensure a successful and inclusive event that will lead to massive economic benefits for the country, Horasis-in-Nigeria Chairman, and former Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman; and Co-founder/Regional Coordinator, Horasis-in-Nigeria, Dr Noel Akpata, have formed a regional Visions Community. Key partners in the hosting of the Horasis Africa project include the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Ministry of Trade and Investment, and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), as well as a number of private sector players such as Lafarge, Shoreline, Heritage Bank, Renaissance Capital, and Zenera Consulting.
Speaking at a virtual meeting with the members of the Horasis Visions Community, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), cross-sectional representatives of State Governors and corporate organisations in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his excitement about the upcoming conference and lauded Horasis’ initiatives since it was founded in 2005.
“It is a platform for frank discussions and generation of ideas for the resolution of multifaceted challenges of mankind. The work of governments and corporate organisations are expected to be impacted positively. It is with this context that I welcome these discussions in the upcoming Horasis business meeting in Nigeria.” the President said.
Key members of the president’s cabinet who attended the virtual meeting include the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffery Onyeama.
Other prominent persons include the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Global Chairman of Horasis, Dr Frank-Jürgen Richter; Global Business Speaker and Convener, Horasis Africa Business Summit, Dr Noel Akpata; Horasis-in-Nigeria Chairman, Dr Shamsudeen Usman; and the Chairman of MAN, Engineer Ahmed Mansur.
There were also members of the corporate sector in attendance, including the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, Chairman, Shoreline Group, Mr Kola Karim; Chairman, Lafarge Group, Mr Ade Adefioye; Managing Partner, Zenera Consulting, Mr Meka Olowola; MD, Rennaissance Capital, Mr Temitope Popoola; and MD, Daily Times, Mr Aliu Akoshile.
According to Governor Kayode Fayemi, the COVID-19 pandemic, the global recession, and dwindling revenue from oil and gas are some of the issues that have made the meeting timely and important, and have convinced the NGF that there is significant value in partnering with Horasis.
“As key stakeholders in Nigeria’s economic development agenda, the NGF and indeed, all state governors of the federation recognise the crucial and catalytic role of this type of engagement. Horasis comes with a rich history and very extensive global presence. This has informed the decision of the forum to collaborate with Horasis in hosting the annual global business meeting in Nigeria,” Fayemi said.
The NGF’s partnership with Horasis is anchored on two broad opportunities, including the creation of a long-term strategic framework for Nigeria to be the African hub for Horasis annual meetings and the creation of the Horasis-Nigeria Economic Development Council to assist the Nigerian government in the actualisation of its economic development goals.
“It is expected that the partnership will result in increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), thereby favourably positioning Nigeria in the global community,” Fayemi added.
In his remarks, the Global Chairman of Horasis, Dr Frank-Jürgen Richter, said Horasis was founded with the conviction that wealth is shifting towards the emerging world, especially to Africa. “The future definitely lies with emerging countries, especially in Africa, with Nigeria at the core,” Richter said.
The last Horasis global meeting had over 900 speakers, including the UN Secretary-General, Anthony Guiteres, four Heads of States, 50 ministers and several CEOs from fortune 500 companies.
According to Richter, Horasis plans to host the African business meeting on an annual basis in Nigeria with leaders from Africa and also from all over the world to debate the future of the African continent and engage each other in terms of trade and diplomacy, thereby attracting significant FDI. The Horasis Africa Business Summit will be a global meeting in Nigeria with a strong focus on Africa.