The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has pledged to invite young Africans rather than their political leaders to a key France-Africa summit in a video call with the actor Idris Elba. The Élysée Palace said Elba, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations’ international fund for agricultural development, had asked to speak to the French leader. The Guardian was the only newspaper invited to attend the discussion at the Élysée, which marked the start of the One Planet biodiversity summit in Paris. Macron also announced that he would increase France’s contribution to the International Fund for Agricultural Development from €57.8m to €86.7m. Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, asked the president to join them in their campaign to stop the economic shock caused by Covid-19 triggering a global economic crisis, especially in poor African countries. Macron invited Elba and his wife, who were speaking from Australia where the actor is filming, to join him in a visit to Chad, one of the countries benefiting from the Great Green Wall of Africa, the world’s most ambitious reforestation project.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN