Chasing the richest of the rich

Nam eyes Horasis meetings

19 June 2019 | Business

We believe that Africa is the world’s new frontier. - Frank-Jürgen Richter, Founder: Horasis

Namibia hopes to co-host one of the annual events of Horasis, an independent, international think tank whose meetings are often compared to the World Economic Forum’s yearly gatherings in Davos, Switzerland.

This includes the Horasis Visionary Billionaire meeting, a closed meeting of the top 15 Forbes-listed billionaires.

The latest set of resolutions released by the ministry of information and communication technology states that cabinet has approved Namibia to enter into an agreement with Horasis to co-host the think tank’s inaugural meeting for Africa in 2022, its billionaire meeting or its Asia meeting focusing on India and China.

Commenting on the billionaire meeting, the resolution states: “This meeting takes place in September each year in an undisclosed location without the presence of the media.” It could arise the interest of “one or more of the attendees to invest in Namibia”, it says.

Horasis was founded in by 2005 by Frank-Jürgen Richter, a former director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and dedicates itself to the innovation and development of sustainable emerging markets.

In an interview in April this year with The Times of Israel, Richter said Horasis was “investigating” a Horasis Africa Meeting.

“We believe that Africa is the world’s new frontier and we have seen the need to bring the African continent together in an annual conclave. There are several potential host countries we are talking to,” Richter told the The Times of Israel.

Commenting on the billionaire meeting, he told the publication: “They meet over a long weekend to exchange views about the next steps in their business and private life, philanthropy and the betterment of the world.”

According to Richter, Horasis is a “global visions community committed to inspire the future”.

Investment Centre

On being likened to Davos, Richter told The Times of Israel: “The media likes to compare us with Davos. Davos might have lost its innocence, it is a very commercial undertaking these days. I usually don’t like the Davos comparison too much, we are not benchmarking ourselves.

“We are concentrating on our own development. We want to be the world’s most important annual gathering where like-minded individuals and organisations meet and jointly inspire the future.”

Cabinet directed the ministry of industrialisation, trade and SME development, through the Namibia Investment Centre (NIC), to liaise with the ministry of international relations and cooperation to engage Horasis on the options to be agreed upon and coordinate the follow-up.

The NIC has to market Namibia as a favourable investment destination to ensure that the country has its fair share or regional and global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. The centre also has to identify and encourage the attraction and growth of inward and outward domestic investment.

According to the NIC’s website, the centre has overseas investment promotion representatives in, among others, Geneva in Switzerland, where Horasis’ headquarters are.