Administrative centre

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An administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located.

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In countries with French as one of their administrative languages (such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland or many African countries) and in some other countries (such as Italy, cf. cognate capoluogo), a chef-lieu (French pronunciation:  [ʃɛfljø] , plural form chefs-lieux, literally "chief place" or "head place"), is a town or city that is pre-eminent from an administrative perspective. The ‘f’ in chef-lieu is pronounced, in contrast to chef-d'oeuvre where it is mute.

Algeria

The capital of an Algerian Province is called a chef-lieu. The capital of a district, the next largest division, is also called a chef-lieu. While the capital of the lowest division, the municipalities, is called agglomeration de chef-lieu (chef-lieu agglomeration) and is abbreviated as A.C.L.

Belgium

The chef-lieu in Belgium is the administrative centre of each of the ten Provinces of Belgium. Three of these cities also give their name to their province (Antwerp, Liège and Namur).

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is divided into two judicial arrondissements (Luxembourg City, Diekirch), three administrative districts (Luxembourg City, Diekirch, Grevenmacher), four electoral circonscriptions (constituencies), twelve cantons and one hundred and five communes (municipalities; Luxembourgish: Gemengen).

Arrondissements, districts and cantons have each a chef-lieu and are named after it. The same is true for each commune which is composed of more than one town or village. Usually (with a few exceptions), the commune is named after the communal chef-lieu.

France

The chef-lieu of a département is known as the préfecture . This is the town or city where the prefect of the départment (and all services under his/her control) is situated, in a building known as the prefecture. In every French region, one of the départments has pre-eminence over the others, and the prefect carries the title of Prefect of region X…, Prefect of Department Z… and the city where the regional prefect is found is known as chef-lieu of the region or, more commonly, Regional prefecture. The services are, however, controlled by the prefecture of the départment.

The chef-lieu of an arrondissement , commonly known as the sous-préfecture is the city or town where the sub-prefect of the arrondissement (and the services directly under his/her control) is situated, in a building called the sub-prefecture. The arrondissement where the département prefecture is located does not normally have a sub-prefect or sub-prefecture, the administration being devolved usually to the Secretary-general of the departmental prefecture, who functions as sub-prefect for the arrondissement.

The chef-lieu of a canton is usually the biggest city or town within the canton, but has only a nominal role. No specific services are controlled by it. In past decades, there was always a Gendarmerie, a treasurer and a justice of the peace.

The chef-lieu of a commune is the principal area of the town or city that gives the commune its name, the other areas of the town being called hamlets. French typographers will use a capital for the ‘Le’ or ‘La’ preceding the name of places having ‘chef-lieu of town’ status, and lowercase ‘le’ or ‘la’ for hamlets.

Jordan

In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the administrative centres are known as "chief towns" or nahias. [1] Nahias may be in charge of a sub-district (qda), a district (liwa), or a governorate (muhafazah).

New Caledonia

The chef-lieu indicates the principal city of the provinces of New Caledonia. So Nouméa is the chef-lieu of South Province. But the chef-lieu can also mean the principal area within a town. So is part of the town of Lifou, but is the chef-lieu of Lifou. In the Loyalty Islands and the other islands, the name of the chef-lieu differs from that of the name of the town. For the towns of the mainland, the chef-lieu has the same name as the town. Nouméa is a town composed only of Nouméa.

Francophone West Africa

Many of the West African states which gained independence from France in the mid-20th century also inherited the French administrative structure of Departments and Communes, headed by a Chief-Lieu. States still using Chief-Lieu to identify the administrative headquarters of a government subdivision include Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and Niger. [2]

Taking Niger and Mali as examples, the administrative subdivisions down to the Commune level each have a formal place of administrative headquarters, titled the chef-lieu. The larger portion of the terminology of administrative division is inherited from colonial rule as part of French West Africa, and has survived and been somewhat modified over time. In both nations there have been remarkably parallel histories. [3] With the decentralization process begun in both nations in the 1990s, the chef-lieu has transitioned from the location of the Governor, Commandant, or Prefect and their staff, to the location of Commune, Cercles of Mali/Departments of Niger, and Regional Councils and a variety of decentralized bodies. [4] [5] The chefs-lieux of a Region, Cercle or Département, is usually also a Communal chef-lieu. Both nations collect these councils in a "High Council of Collectivites" seated at the nation's capital. Smaller sub-divisions in Mali's Communes (Villages, Tribal councils, Quarters) are administered from or identified as a Place/Site (Site in French), so the chef-lieu is literally the Chief-Place even at the lowest level. [6] [7]

Russia

In Russia, the term is applied to the inhabited localities, which serve as a seat of government of entities of various levels. The only exception to this rule is the republics, for which the term "capital" is used to refer to the seat of government. The capital of Russia is also an entity to which the term "administrative centre" does not apply.

Sweden

In Sweden there are two levels of administrative centre; the local municipal and the regional county.

Central locality

Central locality(Swedish: "centralort") is a term commonly ascribed to the settlement that serves as a municipal administrative centre. This level handles the local administrative and political tasks of the surrounding settlements. Since central place theory was the guiding principle during the municipal reform 1962–1977, most municipalities were dominated by a larger urban area where the political seat was located. Most municipalities are named for their central locality, but there are several exceptions.

There are many deviations from the central locality principle. Some municipalities are dominated by two or more towns of similar size, and sometimes they share the municipal administration, with the municipality having its official address in one of the towns. For example, both Skillingaryd and Vaggeryd are central localities of Vaggeryd Municipality. Conversely, there are municipalities within metropolitan areas. For example, there are twenty-six municipalities within the Stockholm metropolitan area.

The term central locality has no legal standing and it is unclear how it should be applied to these municipalities. Some municipalities appointing one or several localities to be the central locality.

Residence city

A residence city (Swedish: "residensstad") is the town or city which is the political and administrative seat of the county. This level handles the more regional political and administrative tasks of the county, such as healthcare and public transport. The name comes from that this is the town or city where the governor (Swedish: "landshövding") have their residence. There are some exceptions to this, however. In the newer amalgamated "greater counties", often referred to as "regions", the administrative centre is placed in one of the older residence cities. Examples of this is Malmö in Region Scania and Gothenburg in the Västra Götaland Region.

Switzerland

The term chef-lieu is applied to the capital of each Swiss canton. In 16 of the 26 cantons, the territory is subdivided into districts. Every district also has a city nominated as chef-lieu and each has a prefect.

Tunisia

The term chef-lieu is used to designate the capital of each gouvernorat (department). Each of the 24 gouvernorats is subdivided into delegations (districts) which each have a central city as chef-lieu of delegation.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom it is the centre of a local authority, which is distinct from a historic county with a county town.

See also

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In France, a prefecture may be:

Thiès Region Region of Senegal

Thiès is a region of western Senegal. The capital is also called Thiès.

The cantons of France are territorial subdivisions of the French Republic's departments and arrondissements.

Prefect (France)

A prefect in France is the state's representative in a department or region. Subprefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements. The office of a prefect is known as a prefecture and that of a sub-prefect as a subprefecture.

Departments of Niger

The regions of Niger are subdivided into 63 departments. Before the devolution program on 1999–2005, these departments were styled arrondissements. Confusingly, the next level up (regions) had, before 2002-2005 been styled departments. Prior to a revision in 2011, there had been 36 departments. A draft law in August 2011 would expand that number to 63. Until 2010, arrondissements remained a proposed subdivision of departments, though none were used. The decentralisation process, begun in the 1995-1999 period replaced appointed Prefects at Departmental/Arrondisement level with elected councils, first elected in 1999. These were the first local elections held in the history of Niger. Officials elected at commune level are then selected as representatives at Departmental, regional, and National level councils and administration. The Ministry of Decentralisation was created to oversee this task, and to create a national consultative council of local officials.

Bafoulabé Commune and town in Kayes Region, Mali

Bafoulabé is a town and rural commune in south-western Mali. It is located in the Region of Kayes at the confluence of the Bafing and Bakoy rivers which join to become the Sénégal River. Bafoulabé is the capital of the Cercle of Bafoulabé, which in 1887 was the first Cercle to be created in Mali.

Senegal is subdivided into four levels of administrative divisions.

Communes of Niger

The Departments of Niger are subdivided into communes. As of 2005, in the seven Regions and one Capital Area, there were 36 départements, divided into 265 communes, 122 cantons and 81 groupements. The latter two categories cover all areas not covered by Urban Communes or Rural Communes, and are governed by the Department, whereas Communes have elected councils and mayors. Additional semi-autonomous sub-divisions include Sultanates, Provinces and Tribes (tribus). The Nigerien government estimates there are an additional 17000 Villages administered by Rural Communes, while there are over 100 Quartiers administered by Urban Communes.

Keita, Niger Place in Tahoua Region, Niger

Keita is a town and commune in Niger. It is the capital of the Keita Department, within the Tahoua Region, and has a population of 10,631 as of 2012.

Administrative divisions of Niger

Niger is governed through a four layer, semi-decentralised series of Administrative divisions. Begun 1992, and finally approved with the formation of the Fifth Republic of Niger on 18 July 1999, Niger has been enacting a plan for Decentralisation of some state powers to local bodies. Prior to the 1999-2006 project, Niger's subdivisions were administered via direct appointment from the central government in Niamey. Beginning with Niger's first municipal elections of 2 February 1999, the nation started electing local officials for the first time. Citizens now elect local committee representatives in each Commune, chosen by subdivisions of the commune: "Quarters" in towns and "Villages" in rural areas, with additional groupings for traditional polities and nomadic populations. These officials choose Mayors, and from them are drawn representatives to the Department level. The same process here chooses a Departmental council and Prefect, and representatives to the Regional level. The system is repeated a Regional level, with a Regional Prefect, council, and representatives to the High Council of Territorial Collectives. The HCCT has only advisory powers, but its members have some financial, planning, educational and environmental powers. The central government oversees this process through the office of the Minister of State for the Interior, Public Safety and Decentralization.

Abala, Niger Commune and village in Tillabéri Region, Niger

Abala, Niger is a village and rural commune in Niger.

Bankilare Commune and town in Tillabéri Region, Niger

Bankilaré is a village and rural commune in Niger. Bankilaré commune, centered on the town of the same name, is in Téra Department, Tillabéri Region, in the northwestern corner of the country. The town lies 60 km north of Departmental capital Téra, and around the same distance from the Burkina Faso border and the Mali border.

Tarka, Niger Commune and village in Zinder Region, Niger

Tarka, Niger is a village and rural commune in Niger. It is located in the Belbédji Departement of the Zinder Region. As of 2010 the commune had a population of 86,695.

Tondikandia Commune in Tillabéri Region, Niger

Tondikandia is a rural commune in Filingué Department, Tillabéri Region, Niger. Its chief place and administrative center is the town of Damana.

Administration of Paris

As the capital of France, Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon.

Districts of Ivory Coast

The districts of Ivory Coast are the first-level administrative subdivisions of the country. The districts were created in 2011 in an effort to further decentralise the state, but in practice most of them have not yet begun to function as governmental entities.

References

  1. "Annex B: Analysis of the municipal sector" (PDF). Third Tourism Development Project, Secondary Cities Revitalization Study. Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. 24 May 2005. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 April 2016.
  2. Bierschenk T., Olivier de Sardan, J.‑P. (eds), 1998, "Les arènes locales face à la décentralisation et démocratisation. Analyses comparatives en milieu rural béninois", in Bierschenk T. & Olivier de Sardan J.-P. (eds), Les pouvoirs au village. Le Bénin rural entre démocratisation et décentralisation, Paris, Karthala : 11‑51.
  3. Claude Fay [La décentralisation dans un Cercle (Tenenkou, Mali). Autrepart: Logiques identitaires, logiques territoriales, 2000, IRD http://horizon.documentation.ird.fr/exl-doc/pleins_textes/pleins_textes_7/autrepart/010021949.pdf#page=122].
  4. Bréhima Béridogo, [« Processus de Décentralisation au Mali et Couches Sociales Marginalisées », Bulletin de l'APAD, 14, 1997 http://apad.revues.org/581]
  5. for Mali, see Bréhima Kassibo, [« La Décentralisation au Mali : État des Lieux », Bulletin de l'APAD, 14, 1997 http://apad.revues.org/579]
  6. REPUBLIQUE DU NIGER Loi n° 2002-017 du 11 JUIN 2002 déterminant le régime financier des Régions, des Départements et des Communes [ permanent dead link ].
  7. Loi n° 2002-014 du 11 JUIN 2002 portant création des communes et fixant le nom de leurs chefs-lieux [ permanent dead link ]. Includes list of 213 communes rurales and seats, 52 Communes urbaines and seats.