The African Union is committed to strengthening a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda. The Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (AUC-CIDO) is designed to serve as a catalyst to facilitate the involvement of African peoples in Africa and around the world in the affairs of the AU. CIDO has two divisions, the Civil Society Division and the Diaspora Division. It also has a unit that serves as the Secretariat of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC). The Council, which is composed of civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-state organs, was established in 2004 as an advisory organ to the AU.
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (AU-ECOSOCC) is an advisory organ of the African Union composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the African Union. It is designed to give civil society organizations a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes. It is promoting partnerships between governments and all segments of the civil society, in particular women, the youth, children, the Diaspora, organized labour, the private sector and professional groups. Furthermore it supports policies and programmes that will promote peace, security and stability in Africa, and foster development and integration of the continent. It aims to defend a culture of good governance, democratic principles and institutions, popular participation, human rights and freedoms as well as social justice and gender equality.