Lubumbashi

Lubumbashi (formerly French Élisabethville, or Dutch About this sound Elisabethstad) is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, second only to the nation's capital Kinshasa, and the hub of the southeastern part of the country. The copper-mining city serves as the capital of the relatively prosperous Katanga Province, lying near the Zambian border. Population estimates vary widely but average around 1.5 million.

Geography

Lubumbashi lies at around 1,000 meters above sea level. The Kafue River rises along the Zambian border near the city and meanders through parts of Zambia to the Zambezi River.

Climate

Lubumbashi has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa, according to the Köppen climate classification), with warm summers and pleasant, dry winters, with most rainfall occurring mainly during summer.

Government

From 2000-2006, Floribert Kaseba Makunko served as mayor of Lubumbashi; he was later elected to the National Assembly in 2006.

Economy

Lubumbashi serves as an important commercial and national industrial center. Manufactures include textiles, food products and beverages, printing, bricks, and copper smelting. The city is home to the Simba brewery, producing the famous Tembo beer. The city hosts the headquarters of one of the country's largest banks, Trust Merchant Bank. The area also has a daily newspaper.

The airline Congo Express has its head office in the Bâtiment Banque Congolaise in central Lubumbashi.

Transport

Rail
Lubumbashi lies at the centre of railway lines to Ilebo, Kindu, Sakania and Kolwezi.
In the 1960s, the section from Mutshatsha to Lubumbashi was electrified at 25 kV AC.

Air
Lubumbashi is home to the modern Lubumbashi International Airport. The city consequently serves as a distribution center for such minerals as copper, cobalt, zinc, tin, and coal.

Tourism and culture

Attractions in the city include a botanical garden, a zoo and the regional archaeological and ethnological National Museum of Lubumbashi. Some of the most prominent examples of colonial architecture, such as the art-déco style Palace of Justice, the Grand Hotel or the cathedral St Pierre et Paul, have been restored over recent years. The city also hosts the major University of Lubumbashi, which maintains a library.

Sports

Lubumbashi is home to football club TP Mazembe, founded in 1939. Their home stadium is Stade de la Kenya. Chairman of the club is the current Governor of the province of Katanga Moïse Katumbi. TP Mazembe was the first African club to reach the FIFA Club World Cup finals in 2010, which it lost in Abu Dhabi to Inter Milan on 18 December 2010.

A few US basketball players, such as Myck Kabongo and NBA power forward, Bismack Biyombo, are from Lubumbashi.

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