Kinshasa

Kinshasa (formerly French Léopoldville, and Dutch Leopoldstad) is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is located on the Congo River.

Once a site of fishing villages, Kinshasa is now an urban area with a population of 9 million inhabitants. It faces the capital of the neighbouring Republic of Congo, Brazzaville, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River. The city of Kinshasa is also one of the DRC's 11 provinces. Because the administrative boundaries of the city-province cover a vast area, over 90% of the city-province's land is rural in nature, and the urban area only occupies a small section in the far western end of the city-province.

Kinshasa is the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo. It is also the second largest francophone urban area in the world after Paris, French being the language of government, schools, newspapers, public services and high-end commerce in the city, while Lingala is used as a lingua franca in the street. If current demographic trends continue, Kinshasa should surpass Paris in population around 2020. Kinshasa will host the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012.

Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois (in French and sometimes in English) or Kinshasans (English).

Read more about KinshasaHistory, Administration, Geography, Climate, Buildings and Institutions, Education, Media, Language, Transport, Kinshasans, Sister Cities

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