Kinshasa - Geography

Geography

Kinshasa is a city of sharp contrasts, with affluent residential and commercial areas and three universities coexisting side by side with sprawling slums.

It is located along the south bank of the Congo River, directly opposite the city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo. This is the only place in the world where two national capital cities are facing one another and in sight of each other on opposite banks of a river.

The Congo river is the second longest river in Africa after the Nile, and is the largest in terms of discharge. As a waterway it provides a means of transport for much of the Congo basin, being navigable for large river barges between Kinshasa and Kisangani, and many of its tributaries are navigable too. The river is an important source of hydroelectric power, and downstream of Kinshasa it has the potential to generate power equivalent to the usage of roughly half of Africa's population.

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