Construction of National Cathedral: We are making progress, says Akufo-Addo

The process for erecting the National Cathedral began with an announcement on 6 March 2017, at celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence

President Akufo-Addo has said that stakeholders in the construction of the National Cathedral of Ghana are making progress and are getting closer to completion of what he says will be an iconic monument on the African continent.

Speaking at the “National Cathedral Bible Reading Marathon Thanksgiving Service”, held under the banner “Come Let Us Worship” at the site of the National Cathedral in Ridge, Accra, today (2 January 2023), President Akufo-Addo said he is grateful to the group of eminent clergymen and women who have “taken upon themselves the responsibility of shepherding the project to completion”.

“The process for the construction of the National Cathedral began with my announcement on 6 March 2017, our 60th independence anniversary.

A view of the construction site of the National Cathedral

“The following year, in March 2018, on our 61st Independence anniversary, I unveiled the compelling design by the British-Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye for the cathedral,” President Akufo-Addo recalled.

“On the eve of our 63rd anniversary on 5 March 2020, I was here at the ground-breaking ceremony signalling the commencement of the construction of the National Cathedral.

“Today, 2 January 2023, I am here at the site to join you to climax the Bible reading marathon and to partake in the celebration of the laying of the foundation for the National Cathedral. We are getting close,” Akufo-Addo added.

To show his commitment to the project and encourage all Ghanaians to donate GHC100 a month to the project, President Akufo-Addo gave GHC100,000 towards building costs for the cathedral.

Threefold rationale

In his address, President Akufo-Addo reiterated the three main reasons behind his decision to mobilise support for construction of the cathedral.

“First,” the president said, “since gaining our freedom from the colonial power 66 years ago, on 6 March 1957, Ghana has so far been spared civil war, famine and epidemics.

A cross-section of clergymen at the ceremony

“We are certainly no better than the other nations in our neighbourhood which have been confronted with these challenges. I believe it is by the grace of God that we have been preserved and sustained.

“The construction of the cathedral will be an act of thanksgiving to the Almighty for His blessings, grace, favour and mercies on our nation,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Second, the president said, “Seventy-one per cent of the Ghanaian people adhere to the Christian religion, grouped under the various persuasions of the Christian faith.

“The interdenominational National Cathedral will help unify the Christian community and thereby help promote national unity and social cohesion,” he said.

Lastly, Akufo-Addo recalled that he made a pledge to Almighty God that if He was gracious enough to make him president, he would help build a cathedral to His glory and honour.

“I am determined to redeem this pledge,” President Akufo-Addo declared.

Commitment to NC project

Apostle Opoku Onyinah, chairman of the trustees of the National Cathedral of Ghana, reflected on a quotation in the Bible from chapter three of the book of Ezra (verses 6 and 11, which state): “6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.

11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever towards Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”

Apostle Opoku Onyinah noted that “Come Let Us Worship” was planned as a truly national, interdenominational initiative that would mobilise church leaders, church denominations and para-church organisations for three days of Bible reading.

“Ultimately, our goal was to focus attention on the essence of the ‘National Cathedral Project’ and its Bible Museum, on the other hand, and promote Christian unity amongst the various denominations in our country,” Apostle Opoku Onyinah said.

“The celebration of the laying of the foundation is also a timely reminder that the building of the National Cathedral is not completed.

“We therefore pray that through the Bible reading and worship, we will come to the understanding of the essence of the National Cathedral and continue to support it fully,” he said.

Progress of work / accountability

Paul Opoku Mensah, the executive director of the National Cathedral of Ghana Secretariat, presented a status report on the project. He noted that the site establishment has been completed and five cranes have been purchased and delivered to the site, three of which have been installed to date.

The NCG boss added that the secretariat has accounted judiciously for all funds it has received for the state or through donations, and these accounts have been submitted to Parliament.

“An area of about 70,000 square metres has been cleared, [and] about 120 trees within the construction perimeter have been retained,” Dr Opoku Mensah said. “Existing services on site – electricity, water, sewerage, telecommunications – have been relocated.

“About 230 square metres of soil have been excavated and removed from site. About 1,400 square metres of concrete have been laid on the site so far and about 1,900 tonnes of rebar have been purchased and delivered to site,” Opoku Mensah said.

“About 220 tonnes of rebar have been installed up to date. Ten thousand square metres of water-proven material have been purchased and are being installed.

“The idea that somehow, we [the NCG] took the funds and just dug a hole is simply mischievous. A record of all these activities I have mentioned, supported by detailed pictures, [has] been submitted to Parliament,” he said.

Final countdown

Dr Opoku Mensah called on the Christian Church in Ghana to stand with the NCG and to raise one million Ghanaians who will donate GHC100 a month to ensure that the project is completed before the end of 2024.

“We look for to you all joining us in this final countdown of fundraising towards the completion of this historic and game-changing infrastructure,” Dr Opoku Mensah said.

National Cathedral project

The proposed National Cathedral under construction in Accra is projected, once completed and fully operational, to raise in excess of US$95 million in revenue within its first five years of operation.

Conceived by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as a physical embodiment of unity, harmony and spirituality, the Ghana National Cathedral will be the nation’s ceremonial landmark, Ghana’s “mother church”, where all denominations will be welcomed to gather, worship and celebrate in spiritual accord.

Scope of vision

The project, now referred to as a complex comprising three projects – the National Cathedral of Ghana, the Biblical Gardens of Africa and the Bible Museum of Africa – will have ten streams from which revenue will be raised.

The revenue streams include admission to the cathedral, the museum and the biblical gardens.

The others are membership, a restaurant, a café, event catering, a gift shop, meeting space rental, special events, online merchandise and online education.

Revenue estimates

According to projections by the secretariat of the board of trustees, the National Cathedral will receive roughly 400,000 visitors annually from Africa, other parts of the world and from within Ghana.

It is estimated that 30% of the visitors (120,000 people in total) will be foreigners and 70% (280,000) will be people living and working in Ghana.

Out of this 70% in the projections, 40% (160,000 people) will be adults, 20% (80,000) will be children between the ages of ten and 17 and 10% (40,000 people) will be what the projections term groups.

The plans further project that adults from outside Ghana, contributing an entrance fee of $15 per person, multiplied by the estimated 120,000 visitors annually, will generate roughly $1.8 million.

On the domestic front, the secretariat projects that the 40% of visitors who are adults in Ghana (160,000 people) paying a fee of $8 per person will generate approximately $1.28 million for the National Cathedral.

The 20% who children between the ages of ten and 17 (80,000 people), contributing a fee of $6 per head, will generate $480,000 for the project each year and the 40,000 people referred to as groups (10% of the total number of visitors), at a fee of $10 per person, will bring the cathedral $400,000 annually.

Special museum exhibits are projected to raise $2.4 million, bringing the annual projected revenue target through attendance alone to $6.36 million.

Managers of the facility estimate that out of 400,000 museum visitors, 100,000 other paid admissions and 10,000 non-attendance buyers, they will be able to raise just under $1.1 million from the gift shop and from sales of food.

Revenue from the restaurant and café is estimated at $1.77 million and there is a projected revenue of roughly $1.602 million from all other catering services, bringing the total annual revenue from the gift shop and all food services to $4.45 million annually.

Museum membership

Museum membership schemes are very popular globally and have been used to create a customer loyalty programme as well as serve as a good source of regular income for many museums across the world.

Officials of the National Cathedral plan to use the pre-opening time of three years to raise $12 million by offering a limited number of “Founding Memberships”, “Presidential Founding Memberships” and signatories to the “Chairman’s Founding Membership Circle”.

Overall, the National Cathedral estimates that within a year of operation, it will generate roughly $23.62 million and by the fifth year, its revenue should hit $95.555 million.

Birthing the vision

On 6 March 2017, President Akufo-Addo outdoored his vision for a national cathedral to be sited close to State House in Accra.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, the president described the proposed cathedral as an interdenominational worship project which will also be a gesture of thanksgiving to God on the occasion of Ghana’s 60th anniversary for the blessings He has bestowed on the country.

The architectural and structural design for the National Cathedral was done by the British-Ghanaian starchitect David Adjaye, the founder and principal of Adjaye Associates.

The cathedral will house chapels, a baptistery and a 5,000-seater main auditorium which can be expanded to a 15,000-seater venue for national events and celebrations, among other facilities.

On 5 March 2020, to signify the start of construction work, President Akufo-Addo laid the foundation stone, which was sourced from the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, in the Holy Land, at the exact spot where the altar of the cathedral will be situated when the building is completed.

Wilberforce Asare

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
Tune in or log on to broadcasts 
online: www.asaaseradio.com, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming: facebook.com/asaaseradio99.5. Also on YouTube: Asaase Radio Official.
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected