Kinshasa, formerly Léopoldville, is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the most populous city in Africa. Once a site of fishing and trading villages situated along the Congo River, Kinshasa is now one of the world's fastest growing megacities. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo; the two cities are the world's second-closest pair of capital cities (after Vatican City and Rome). The city of Kinshasa is also one of the DRC's 26 provinces. Because the administrative boundaries of the city-province cover a vast area, over 90 percent of the city-province's land is rural in nature, and the urban area occupies a small but expanding section on the western side.
Kinshasa is Africa's third-largest metropolitan area after Cairo and Lagos. It is also the world's largest Francophone urban area, with French being 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 hosted the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012. The indigenous people of the area include the Humbu and Teke.
Big manufacturing companies such as Marsavco S.A., All Pack Industries and Angel Cosmetics are located in the centre of town (Gombe) in Kinshasa.
There are many other industries, such as Trust Merchant Bank, located in the heart of the city. Food processing is a major industry, and construction and other service industries also play a significant role in the economy.
Although home to only 13% of the DRC's population, Kinshasa accounts for 85% of the Congolese economy as measured by gross domestic product. A 2004 investigation found 70% of inhabitants employed informally, 17% in the public sector, 9% in the formal private sector, and 3% other, of a total 976,000 workers. Most new jobs are classified as informal.
The People's Republic of China has been heavily involved in the Congo since the 1970s, when they financed the construction of the Palais du Peuple. In 2007–2008 China and Congo signed an agreement for an $8.5 billion loan for infrastructure development. Chinese entrepreneurs are gaining an increasing share of local marketplaces in Kinshasa.
Kinshasa is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Kinshasa is rated D by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D cities are regional hub cities. Kinshasa was ranked #1126 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Kinshasa has a population of over 11,860,000 people. Kinshasa also forms part of the wider Kinshasa metropolitan area which has a population of over 17,070,000 people.