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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
In pictures: Kinshasa revamp

The sun setting over Kinshasa with Brazzaville visible over the River Congo

The 8m residents of Kinshasa, the capital of the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, have been promised a $1.5bn revamp of the city built on the banks of the Congo River.

A square in Kinshasa

Kinshasa has avoided much of the conflict that has plagued cities in the east. But corruption and lack of attention have been almost as destructive, says the BBC's John James.

A night-time shot of the main boulevard in Kinshasa

The provincial assembly has passed the five-year plan. While downtown Kinshasa is renowned for its skyscrapers, foreign-owned supermarkets and wide boulevards...

Women in front of a market stall in Kinshasa

... In the vast sprawling suburbs living conditions are poor and people complain of electricity shortages...

Children in an appartment block in Kinshasa

One woman told the BBC, "It's the women suffering because we have to walk a long distance to find electricity so we can grind cassava so that the children can eat at home."

Umbrellas in Kinshasa

Our correspondent says on current trends Kinshasa, Africa's third-largest city, will soon overtake Paris as the largest French-speaking city in the world.

Students in Kinshasa working on plans to renovate the city

Governor Andre Kimbuta's plan, which university students have been working on, is to make life more Parisian despite opposition protests that it is unaffordable.

Kinshasa's central post office

Mr Kimbuta, an ex-maths teacher, says he has done his sums and can count on donor support. Dealing with rubbish, he says, will be the highest priority. (Pictures: Derrick Evans)

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