Welcome to Kinshasa, the vibrant capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Formerly known as Léopoldville, Kinshasa is a bustling metropolis situated along the Congo River. From its humble beginnings as a trading post established by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881, Kinshasa has grown into one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities. Today, it is Africa’s third-largest metropolitan area and the world’s largest nominally Francophone urban area. French is the language of government, education, media, public services, and high-end commerce in the city, while Lingala is used as a lingua franca in the street. Kinshasa is a city of sharp contrasts, with affluent residential and commercial areas alongside sprawling slums. Despite its challenges, Kinshasa remains a major cultural and intellectual center for Central Africa, with a flourishing community of musicians and artists. Join us as we explore the history, geography, demographics, language, government, politics, economy, and education of this fascinating city.

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