Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is located on the Congo River. Once a site of fishing villages, Kinshasa is now an urban area with a population of 10,076,099 inhabitants in 2009. The city of Brazzaville (about 1.2 million inhabitants in 2007 with its suburbs), capital of the Republic of the Congo, lies just across the Congo River from Kinshasa. Together with Brazzaville, the combined conurbation of Kinshasa-Brazzaville has thus nearly 12 million inhabitants—making it the most populous transborder metropolitan area in the world. Because the administrative boundaries cover such a vast area, over 60% of the city's land is rural in nature, and the urban area only occupies a small section in the far western end of the province.
It's also the largest French-speaking city proper in the world (by any other measure, it still ranks second behind the Paris urban area). After decades of armed conflicts imposed by neighbouring countries, the infrastructures of the once leading modern African city are now being remarkably restored. Chinese companies are involved in numerous projects of reconstruction throughout the city. 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.