The African Union, has formed a civil society arm with the objective of translating principles and policies of the Union into concrete programmes that every citizen could identify with.
The organization dubbed: "Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), would act as an advisory organization to the Union and would work alongside other organs of the AU such as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Court.
ECOSOCC is made up of 150 members drawn from 23 member countries with two civil society groups from each country representing various interests including women, children, the youth, the elderly, people with disabilities and those with special needs.
It also constitutes professional groups such as health practitioners, social workers, legal professionals, media, Non Governmental Organizations, community based organization and would consider the involvement of social and professional groups in the African Diaspora.
Ghana is represented by HATOF Foundation, an organization concerned with environmental sustainability and WILDAF, an organization that promotes and advocates for women's empowerment.
Mr Samuel Dotse, Chief Executive Officer of HATOF Foundation told the Ghana News Agency in Dar-Es-Salaam that the AU used to be a thing for heads of States in Africa, who decided on behalf of their people without their involvement.
"Now the AU has become people making decisions for themselves," he said and explained that Civil Society Organization were in contacts with people and could communicate their concerns and needs about development better to the governments.
ECOSOCC would also promote and defend a culture of good governance, democratic principles and institutions while ensuring popular participation in AU issues, human rights and freedom as well as social justice.