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Kinshasa, Congo (Zaire)

Kinshasa is the capital city of Congo, which was formerly known as Zaire. It is located on the southern bank of the river Congo. In colonial times, all the way up to 1966, the city was known as Léopoldville.

Léopoldville was established by the Belgian Henry Morton Stanley as a depot in 1881. From then on, it grew rapidly after 1898, when a railway project was completed and became the largest city in the country. It was part of the Belgian Congo, which King Leopold II of Belgium controlled. Ultimately, independence was granted to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960. In recent times, the country has gone through intense political turmoil and revolts that were still continuing as of August 1998. Even Kinshasa has suffered due to this.

Kinshasa, in spite of the trouble, has remained as the financial, commercial and industrial center of the country. Apart from the service sector, there are manufacturing industries and light industries, which produce beverages, textiles, tires, metalwork, paper, chemicals.

With a population of over 4.5 million people, it is a huge city, and used to be a vibrant center of African music. Kinshasa also has the Université de Kinshasa, the largest college campus of the country, along with other schools and colleges specializing in a variety of fields.

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