Driving into Kinshasa from the N’dijili International Airport on Route National 1, one is confronted by a large tower in the Commune of Limite that is a bit awe-inspiring (given its location) and both surprising and perplexing. Known as the Tour de l’Échangeur (Interchange Tower), it remains today one of the tallest human-built structures on the African continent.A total of 689 feet (210 meters) tall, the tower was ordered built by President Mobutu Sese Seku in 1971 as a monument to Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese leader who fought for independence and who later served as the first prime minister of the country after independence in 1960 until his assassination in January 1961.
The tower stands in the middle of a public square which was called Exchange Square until 2011, when its name was changed to Reconstruction Square. Today it hosts the Museum of Contemporary and Multimedia Arts which has collections of Congolese art and sculpture. A statue of Patrice Lumumba was erected in the square in January 2002.