France President Emmanuel Macron has named the African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina as a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.

The appointment was made at a forum held in the margins of the One Planet Summit 2021 to mobilise support for the ambitious project to plant an 8,000 km swathe of trees and other vegetation across the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa,CityNews Nigeria reports.

The green wall will act as a barrier against desertification and aims to create over 10 million green jobs in the region.

“I would also like to welcome the commitment of Dr. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, who has agreed to take on the role of resource mobilisation champion and help raise, by 2030, all the necessary funds for the realisation of the Great Green Wall,” Mr Macron told participants.

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Adesina said in a tweet on Tuesday that he was honoured by the recognition.

“I am greatly honored to be named a Champion of Africa’s “Great Green Wall” initiative, by President @EmmanuelMacron. It is a wall worth building to save the Sahel of Africa from climate change & desertification,” he said.

In the role of champion, Adesina will lead the mobilisation of political and economic support for the initiative.

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During the forum, Adesina announced that the bank would mobilise up to $6.5 billion over the next 5 years for the Great Green Wall Initiative, joining multilateral development institutions, governments and development partners that have pledged over $14 billion.

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