Senegal's local administrative organization consists of ten regions—Fatick, Kaolack, Kolda, Ziguinchor, Tambacounda, Saint-Louis, Thiès, Diourbel, Louga, and Dakar—each headed by an appointed governor and an elected local assembly. The regions are divided into 28 departments, each headed by a prefect, who is assisted by two special secretaries. The departments in turn are divided into 99 districts ( arrondissements ), each headed by a subprefect. In rural areas the basic administrative unit is the rural community, usually made up of a group of villages with a total population of about 10,000.
In 1996, the assembly passed a comprehensive decentralization law that devolves significant authorities to lower levels of government for taxation, service delivery, and local management of resources, although implementation has been slow and uneven.