Top 5 Interesting Facts About Kinshasa

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Editorial credit: Valeriya Anufriyeva /
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Editorial credit: Valeriya Anufriyeva /

Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here is a list of interesting facts related to the city:

5. Kinshasa And Brazzaville Make The World’s Second Closest Pair Of Capital Cities

Brazzaville is the Republic of the Congo’s capital city. It is located just across the Congo River and can be seen from Kinshasa. These two capital city’s rank as the world’s second closest pair of capitals. The first rank goes to the Rome and Vatican City pair.

4. Robots Monitor The Traffic In The City

An engineer from the city named Thérèse Izay designed robots that could monitor traffic in the city. Initially, such robots were placed in two locations in Kinshasa. By 2015, five robots were operating in the city. The traffic lights have been integrated into the system of these robots with the red light on their front and back and the green lights on their arms. The robots also have TV cameras to record violations of traffic rules. The best feature of these robots is that they are immune to bribery, unlike human traffic police.

3. Kinshasa Is The World’s Largest Officially Francophone City

The official language of the DRC is French. Therefore, French is also spoken widely in Kinshasa. It is the world’s largest francophone city. French is used in press and publications, television, schools, government documents, posters, street signs, etc. The language also serves as the medium of communication between people of different classes in the society. However, native languages like Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili, etc., are more frequently used for communication between members of the same social class.

2. Children Labeled As Witches Roam The Streets Of Kinshasa

More than 20,000 children roam the city streets of Kinshasa. Most of them are orphans who have been driven out of their homes by relatives or step-parents and have ended up on the streets. What is worse is that many of these children have been accused of harming others through witchcraft and then left alone to make a living on the harsh streets of the city. They lead miserable lives as they lack a secure source of food and shelter. They often resort to illegal activities to survive. Although many national and international organizations are striving to help these children, change is needed in the mindset of the society.

1. Kinshasa Is A City Of Sharp Contrasts

The city has both highly affluent neighborhoods as well as sprawling slums with extremely poor living facilities. Kinshasa is thus a city of contrasts. While a section of the population of the city enjoys high standards of living, the rest of the population barely make a living. Crime rates are quite high here. The slums of the city have given rise to many youth gangs. Foreign visitors to Kinshasa are thus asked to take precautions to ensure their safety.


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