The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), is an advisory organ composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the Union. Its members are elected for a period of four years mandate.
The First Permanent General Assembly of the ECOSOCC elected on 8 September 2008, in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, its new Presiding Officer by name M. Akere Muna, member of the African Union high level audit panel and Chairman of the Pan African Union of Lawyers. He took over from Professor Wangari Maathai, who was the Interim presiding Officer since 2005. The launching of the Permanent General Assembly of the ECOSOCC in Tanzania was done in commemoration of the African Union Day celebrated every 9 September.
Functions of the ECOSOCC:
a) Promote continuous dialogue between all segments of the African people on issues concerning Africa and its future;
b) Forge strong 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;
c) Promote the participation of African civil society in the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Union.
d) Support policies and programmes that will promote peace, security and stability in Africa, and foster development and integration of the continent;
e) Promote and defend a culture of good governance, democratic principles and institutions, popular participation, human rights and freedoms as well as social justice;
f) Promote, advocate and defend a culture of gender equality;
g) Promote and strengthen the institutional, human and operational capacities of the African civil society.