Kananga, formerly known as Luluabourg or Luluaburg, is the capital city of the Kasai-Central Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was the capital of the former Kasaï-Occidental Province. In 2015 the city had an estimated population of 1,271,704The city lies near the Lulua River, a tributary of the Kasai River and the Ilebo-Lubumbashi railway.
An important commercial and administrative centre, it is home to a museum and to Kananga Airport. German explorer Hermann Wissmann established a station in the area around present-day Kananga, on the left bank of the Lulua. Wissmann named the station Malandji, a name suggested by his 400 carriers, who were from the city of Malanje in Angola. Later on, with the construction of the railway on the other bank of the river, the station was moved, and the Lulua train station gave its name to the new town, namely Luluabourg. The old location is named Malandji-Makulu (old Malandji) to this day. At the Belgo-Congolese Round Table Conference, in 1960, the name given to the negotiations for the independence of the then-Belgian Congo, a decision was taken that the new state would move the location of its capital from Kinshasa to Luluabourg, due to the latter's central location. However, due to multiple political setbacks, and particularly the secession attempt by Albert Kalonji and his South Kasai, this decision was never implemented.