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The main features of Loi Cadre

The Loi-Cadre can be described as a new policy direction introduced by the French government that was aimed at granting more autonomy to the Overseas Territories which hitherto, depended on France for every decision before they could act.

Territorial Legislature
The Loi Cadre made provisions for a Territorial Assembly in all the territories. The provision allowed the Assembly to pass laws to govern the overseas territories. The Territorial Assemblies now had jurisdiction over urban planning, agriculture, the Civil Service and public health. 

Territorial Executive 
The Loi Cadre also made provision for a Territorial Executive for each overseas territory. The main function of the  Territorial Executive was to formulate policies and programmes for implementation in the territories. The President of the Territorial Executive was the Governor of the territory. Membership of the Territorial Executive comprised heads of various government departments within the territory. 

Grand Council
Provision was also made for a Grand Council to be created in the federation. This Grand Council was a coordinating council. One of its functions was to coordinate the activities that were common to the territories. The Territorial Assemblies also referred matters to the Grand Council and they were obliged by law to deal with such matters.

Universal Adult Suffrage
The Loi Cadre also introduced electoral reforms in the territories. They introduced universal adult suffrage for the first time. In other words, every adult of sound mind and of a certain age was eligible to vote in electing members of the Territorial Assemblies.   

Independent Civil Service
The Loi Cadre made provision for an independent Civil Service in all the territories. Effectively, the Civil Service in each of the territories became autonomous of the government in France. Policies that emanated from the Executive Councils were sent to the territorial Civil Service for onward implementation.

French control
The Loi Cadre did not introduce blanket freedom to the territories. Under the new initiative, the French government continued to be in control of some departments that they considered to be of utmost importance to them. They continued to be in charge, for example, of foreign policy, defense, communication, higher education, and justice.

Abolished the policy of assimilation
The introduction of Loi Cadre in the territories ended the policy of assimilation. Laws governing the territories no longer emanated from the French Metropolis. Laws were passed in the territories, policies were formulated and implemented in the territories. The policies, which used to be dictated from France, were now homegrown. 

The new status of Dakar
Prior to the introduction of the Loi Cadre, Dakar was the melting pot of French West African colonial administrative activity. Dakar no longer played the major role it used to play in the federation. Dakar ceased to be the intermediary between the territories and France. 

Position of the Governor-General 
The designation of the office of the Governor-General was changed. The position of the Governor-General was now designated High Commissioner. He was left in charge of less prestigious issues including epidemics and prospecting for mineral deposits.

Less powerful federal government
One important effect of the Loi Cadre reforms was it took away most of the powers that were wielded by the federation. It lost the power to give orders to the territories. All the federal government now did was to coordinate issues that were common to the territories.
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