Kinshasa

Kinshasa ( or ; formerly Leopoldville ( or Dutch ) is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is located on the Congo River. Once a site of fishing villages, Kinshasa is now an urban area with a 2013 population of over 9 million. 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 third largest urban area in Africa after Cairo and Lagos. 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 hosted the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012. Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois (in French and sometimes in English) or Kinshasans (English).