African Business Founders to Take Center Stage at African Hidden Champions Soirée in Johannesburg

Access to capital for women entrepreneurs and youth opens up their potential for participation in the Agricultural value chains. The Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) seeks to boost SMEs' access to finance and capacity development, thereby increasing employment and reducing poverty.

African Hidden Champions (AHC) will today host an exclusive Soirée in Johannesburg to convene and celebrate entrepreneurial spirit with top African founders taking on the global stage. The event will also feature a private concert with award-winning South African artist, Ami Faku.

African Hidden Champions, a co-partnership of Africa Foresight Group, Germany’s development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft and the African Development Bank, was founded in 2020 and now has more than 25 dynamic African firms in its network. It works to support companies to move to global expansion through visibility, technical assistance, innovation, talent, and investment support. This event, dubbed “Proudly Local, Boldly Global,” is also supported by British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.

The evening will feature opening addresses by Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare and AHC Ambassador; Anne Keppler, Regional Director for Southern Africa at DEG; and Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director and Head of Africa at BII. It will include a fireside chat with AHC Company founder, Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of Onafriq.

“Investing in Africa’s businesses goes beyond just capital; it’s about believing in our potential to lead on the global stage. This Soirée is our testament to the world: Africa is not just rising; it is ready to lead,” said Yasmin Kumi, AHC Co-Founder and CEO of Africa Foresight Group, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving long-term goals on the continent.

In addition to engaging in discussions and networking opportunities, attendees will be treated to a private concert by Faku, showcasing the continent’s vibrant spirit and cultural richness.

“Intentional investments and empowerment of African companies create value far surpassing what individuals can achieve alone. This Soirée is a celebration of what we can accomplish together and a look forward to the boundless possibilities ahead to be proudly local and boldly global,” said Thomas Viot, Chief Investment Officer at the African Development Bank Group.

Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director and Head of Africa at BII, said: “As Africa’s first DFI, we have been supporting private sector growth and innovation across the continent for over 75 years. This celebration reflects our commitment to empower local businesses that are critical to drive forward a prosperous and sustainable economic future for Africa. This includes increasing our focus on black-owned and led businesses and funds across our portfolio.”

AHC embodies the entrepreneurial mindset of African homegrown businesses believing in their global potential, which is underlined throughout the initiative’s work, spanning visibility, support services and events. Once a year, new member companies sign the AHC declaration to commit to the same spirit. Together, the 25+ member companies generate revenues surpassing $8.3 billion, provide employment to a 78,000-strong workforce, and extend their reach across 14 African nations.

To learn more about the event, visit the AHC website (