(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will throw his backing behind the African Union getting permanent membership in the Group of 20 during a summit next week in Washington, a top aide said. 

“It’s past time Africa has permanent seats at the table in international organizations and initiatives,” Judd Devermont, the National Security Council’s senior director for African affairs, said in a statement.  “We need more African voices in international conversations that concern the global economy, democracy and governance, climate change, health, and security.”

Biden will announce his support at the US-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for December 13-15. As many as 49 African heads of state are expected to attend.

“The President is following through on his commitments and is listening to our African partners, Devermont added.

The three-day summit aims to reinforce the US-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights, as well as address issues related to Covid-19, food security and the climate crisis, according to the White House. 

The African Union, founded in 2001, consists of 55 member states from the continent. 

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