Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kinshasa ties with Johannesburg for the status of the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo. 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. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in Central Africa, northeast of Angola. The climate is tropical. It is hot and humid in the equatorial river basin, cooler and drier in the southern highlands and cooler and wetter in the eastern highlands. The official language is French. Western Congo local language is Lingala. Swahili dialects are spoken widely in the east and south. English is increasingly spoken and understood among Congolese elites, particularly in southern Congo, though it cannot be assumed that staff even in the highest-end hotels and restaurants will be able to communicate in English. The main religions are Christianity and Islam. The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has vast potential due to it's natural resources and mineral wealth, yet the economy of the DRC has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. In the DRC, business culture is influenced by French traditions. French is the language of business. Expatriate business dress is relatively formal. Official corruption is institutionalised. Expatriates should be aware that they will encounter requests for presents. The Congolese tend to keep their phones switched on even during meetings and do not consider it rude to take calls during a meeting. Expatriate businesswomen may find their local (mostly male) counterparts may not respect them in business negotiations, however there is respect for job titles which should be clearly established in advance. A permit is required if you plan to take photographs. The security risk for expatriates in the DRC is high to extreme in different areas. Risks include petty crime, violent crime, and armed robberies. Armed groups operate in the eastern provinces, it is not advisable to travel there. Other risks include poor road conditions, health standards and internal air travel, which does not meet international standards. The currency of the DRC is the Congolese Franc (CDF) but US Dollars are widely used, providing they are in good condition and issued after 2001. There are a number of US Dollar ATMs in Kinshasa. Medical care is extremely limited. Medical evacuation is often necessary. Isolated outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have occurred occasionally. Cholera has been reported. The population of Kinshasa is 13.3 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 3.6% (Dec 2016).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Kinshasa, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Kinshasa as at 1 January 2018 is high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Very Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: High Kinshasa is for example -1.8% cheaper than Houston TX for groceries, 97.5% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 36.1% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Kinshasa for an expat from Perth, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Kinshasa) premium of 40% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Kinshasa is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Kinshasa? Register subscribe to your home location and Kinshasa and run your personalised reports.