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  • Djaranabi Djibrine Aldjazouli

Canton System in the Context of Local Governance in the Republic of Chad


The Republic of Chad is a country located in the middle of Africa. The rich cultural heritage of the country stems from the coexistence of different ethnic groups, languages, and religions. This rich cultural heritage has strengthened the culture of unity, solidarity, and hospitality of the Chadian people. Among the cultural values that play an important role in the social integration efforts of the Republic of Chad is the culture of hospitality. Chadians are traditionally very sensitive about hospitality and attach great importance to their guests.

In the administration of the Republic of Chad, there are cantons on the basis of tribes on a local scale. Cantons are the chiefs of the tribes. They are the people who are responsible for maintaining order within the tribes they represent, solving problems, and ensuring interaction between tribes. In this study, the social integration of the Republic of Chad, the hospitality culture of the Chadian people and the Canton system in local administration will be discussed.

Unity and Solidarity in the Context of Social Integration Culture in the Republic of Chad

The Republic of Chad is known for its richness of ethnic groups and languages. There are more than 200 ethnic groups in the country, each with its own culture, languages and traditions. However, there is also unity and solidarity between these ethnic groups. Chadians recognize the importance and strength of coexistence with their different cultural identities.

The culture of social integration in the Republic of Chad strengthens the sense of unity and solidarity. Relations between different ethnic groups are formed through cultural, social and economic interactions. The unity among Chadians leads to many activities in social life being held together. For example, events such as wedding ceremonies, funerals and birth celebrations reflect the culture of social integration. In recent years, the government has also initiated the DARY festival to promote cultural interaction. The DARY festival provides an opportunity for different ethnic groups to come together to celebrate together, get to know each other and strengthen relations between them. At the festival, different ethnic groups learn each other's music, dances and traditions, thus creating a bridge between different cultures and allowing them to explore their cultural diversity together, even if they are in the same country.

Hospitality Culture in Chad

The people of Chad are known for their hospitality. Hospitality is traditionally considered the duty of everyone who is part of society. Hospitality strengthens the relationship between host and guest and promotes tolerance and understanding between ethnic groups in the country.

The Republic of Chad contributes to the maintenance of peace, tolerance and understanding in society through a culture of unity, solidarity and hospitality. In Chad, it is a shame if someone does not like guests. When a guest arrives, it is the mark of a man to welcome him with the best of one's means. In every Chadian home there is a guest room. The guest room is open to everyone, at all times and at all hours, to those who come as guests and leave whenever they want. There is no time limit for family members to stay in the guest room, and non-family members can stay as long as they are well until their needs are met. For example, if you go to a house you don't know in the middle of the night and knock on the door, you will be welcomed and a good meal will be prepared or whatever is available will be served and then you will be directed to the guesthouse. You can enter any house at any time of the day for any need. In the Republic of Chad there are usually three meals a day. There is breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon and then dinner. When you go to a house at mealtimes, you are welcomed and served with the necessary treats. The same is true for other needs. This culture is even more interesting in villages. When you are a guest in the village, you are welcomed in the best possible way. Some slaughter sheep or goats, others prepare a very good meal. All this is present in all tribes. According to the means, everyone does their best to make the guests the crown of honor.

The Republic of Chad's culture of unity, solidarity and hospitality not only strengthens inter-ethnic relations but also contributes to the country's economic development. The adoption of an economic structure based on agriculture, especially in rural areas, is one of the basic elements of social integration. People living in villages come together to help each other during the harvesting period of agricultural products. In this way, agricultural work is completed quickly. In addition, there is solidarity and cooperation between settlements in the Republic of Chad.

Hospitality also plays an important role. Chadians maintain hospitality in a warm and friendly environment where everyone is welcomed with tolerance. Hospitality promotes understanding and tolerance among foreigners.


The Republic of Chad's culture of social integration is based on core values of unity, solidarity and hospitality. Although from time to time there are occasional conflicts between the tribes, there are feelings of tolerance, understanding and solidarity between them. These behaviors make the country a land of beautiful culture and brotherhood.

Cantons in the Context of Local Government in the Republic of Chad

What is the Canton System?

Chad is a centrally administered country and also has decentralization mechanisms. At the local level, in addition to governors, district governors and mayors, there are also administrative actors such as cantons, mukhtars, etc.

The cantons of the Republic of Chad are local administrative units belonging to an ethnic group or a common language group. Since long before the 20th century, cantons have been led by tribes or, more broadly, tribal sheikhs (representing/ruling the tribe). At the beginning of the 20th century, with the French colonial period, the canton system was established in the country.

Before the French colonizers, Chad was composed of several kingdoms and empires, each with its own political and administrative system. Cantons were established by the colonial authorities to replace the old local administrative systems. The cantons were ruled by traditional leaders called sultans or canton chiefs, appointed by the colonial authorities. Today, however, with an independent Chad, cantons are first appointed by tribal members within the tribe and then formally appointed by the state. Today there are around 300 cantons in the Republic of Chad.

What is the role of the cantons?

Cantons are primarily responsible for collecting taxes, administering local justice and managing local affairs. They have also played an important role in regulating conflicts between different local communities.

After the independence of the Republic of Chad in 1960, cantons continued to exist as local administrative units. However, they were modified to adapt to the social and political development of the country and to meet the needs of governments.

Today, especially in rural areas, cantons play an important role in the local life of the Republic of Chad. They are often the venue for community events and traditional ceremonies. Cantons are responsible for maintaining order within the tribes they lead. They are responsible for resolving conflicts within the tribes. In addition, if there is a problem with other tribes, the cantons are the first to be consulted, and if the problem is not resolved, the higher level of local government will intervene.

Who Are Cantons Today and How Are They Appointed?

Cantons are first elected among themselves from within the tribe of which they are a member. It is a system that usually comes from father to son. The leader removed from the tribe is officially appointed by the state. Each canton has a region that it dominates. This is the territory where the tribe has historically resided.

Cantons have Goumies (guards). Goumiyas are appointed by the canton. Together with the canton's Goumiyas, they receive a salary from the state. Their mandate is indefinite and ends only on death or, in the case of serious crimes, they are suspended or completely removed from office. The eldest son of the canton takes the seat of a canton. If the eldest son is incapacitated, the younger son or the wiser of the sons takes over. When the canton has no sons, their brothers and sisters step in.


The cantonal system plays an important role in the local administration of the Republic of Chad. Cantons are local administrative units made up of the leaders of regional tribes and are responsible for administering justice, resolving problems, representing their tribe and managing local affairs. The leaders of the cantons are elected amongst themselves from within the tribe to which they belong and are formally appointed by the state. The mandate of the cantons is indefinite, but they are not removed from office, except for leaders who commit serious crimes or whose mandate ends in death.

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