Togo is divided into five administrative regions—Maritime, Plateaux, Centrale, Kara, and Savanes—each supervised by an inspector. The regions are subdivided into 30 prefectures and 4 sub-prefectures. Inspectors and prefects are appointed by the president. The prefectures have elected councils. The prefectures and sub-prefectures are subdivided into cantons. Togo's first direct local elections were held on 5 July 1987.
A policy of decentralization has been undertaken in Togo, and local communities comprise 30 communes, 9 of them "fully independent" with an elected mayor, and 21 "semi-independent" with the prefect acting as mayor. Communes have popularly elected municipal councils.