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 (population over 10000) or Rural Communes (population under 10000), and are governed by the Department, whereas Communes have (since 1999) 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 (boroughs or neighborhoods) administered by Urban Communes.
The territorial reorganisation of Niger's local administration, known informally as the Decentralisation process, was carried out through a series of laws from 1998 - 2005. Most important are:
- The Constitution of 9 August 1999 ;
- Law n°98-032 of 14 September, determining the statutes for Communautés Urbaines ;
- Law n°2001-023 of 10 August 2001, creating the administrative boundaries and Territorial Collectivities;
- Law n° 2002-017 of 11 June 2002, determining the independent administration of Regions, Departments, and Communes, as well as their obligations and resources;
- Law n° 2002-014 of 11 June 2002, for the creation of the Communes and the fixing of their boundaries and seats (chefs-lieux).
While often translated as "town", Nigerien communes are simply the third level administrative subdivision of the nation. These can be classified Urban or Rural communes, and while often identical in territory to the administrative unit of a town or city, all areas of the country fall within a commune. The communes are listed below, by Department.