In compliance with the policy of decentralization adopted by the kingdom of Morocco, the Sahara region were divided into 3 main regions:
The Laayoune-Boujdour- Sakia El Hamra Region
The Laayoune-Boujdour- Sakia El Hamra Region spans over an area of 139480 km2; it is bordered in the North by Goulmim-Smara Region, in the South by Oued –Eddahab-Lagouira Region, in the East by the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and in the West by the Atlantic Ocean. The Region is made up of the two provinces of Laayoune and Boujdour, In addition to 14 local communes. The population of the Region hovers around 256 152 people according to the 2004 census.
This region also comprises the district of Laayoune-Boujdour, and 14 local communes including 4 prefectures (Baladia): Laayoune, El Marsea, Tarfaya, and Boujdor.
The District of Laayoune was set up on May 24 1994 pursuant to decree n° 2-94-64; it was then apportioned as follows:
Foum El Oued Kiada
El Hakounia Kiada
2- Local Commune apportionment
Foum El Oued, El Hakounia, Eddoura, Akhafnir, Ettah
Oued Eddahab-Lagouira Region:
This region is made up of the two provinces of Ouserd (comprising two districts, one prefecture and six rural communes) and Oued Eddahab (comprising two districts, one prefecture and five rural communes). It covers an area of 50 880 km2, which accounts for about 7 of the overall area of the Kingdom.
The population of the Region is around 99 367 people according to the 200’ census.
It is made up of two provinces:
- Oued Eddahab Province, which was set up on August 14 1979 pursuant to Decree n° 2-79-659 dated August 20 1979.
- Ousserd Province, which was set up on December 31 1998 pursuant to Decree n° 2-98-952 as part of the consolidation of the process of decentralization, which in turn will generalize the use of infrastructure for the whole territory of the region and generate a better distribution of the economic activities centered in Eddakhla, and this will lead to equitable economic and social development throughout the region.
- Smara Goulmim Region:
Smara Goulmim Region is bordered by Souss-Massa Draa Region to the North, Laayoune-Boujdor-Sakia El Hamra Region and the Mauritanian border to the South, the Algerian borders to the East, and the Atlantic Ocean and Laayoune-Boujdor-Sakia El Hamra Region to the South.
The region covers an area of 133 730 km2, accounting for about 18.81% of the overall national area. It comprises five provinces: Goulmim, Assa Ezzag, Tata and Smara. It is made up of 60 communes including 11 urban communes and 49 rural ones. The population is estimated at around 462 410 people according to the 2004 census.
With regard to the administrative apportionment of Smara Province, it comes as follows:
Local Commune apportionment
One urban commune
Five rural communes
Sidi Ahmed Laaroussi Commune