President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo unveiled on March 6, 2018 the designs of a National Cathedral in the country’s capital in Accra.
In celebration of the country’s 61 years of independence from Britain, President Akufo-Addo showed the plans of the new interdenominational cathedral, which will be constructed on a 14-acre land near the Osu Cemetery, reports Ghana newspaper Graphic Online.
British-Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye designed the building showcasing unity, harmony, and spirituality. The new cathedral will house a 5,000-seat two-level auditorium, several chapels, a baptistery, and a grand central hall. It will also have a music school, an art gallery, and a Bible and Documentation Center.
“I have sought to craft a building that not only understands its landscape, but one that will be unique to Accra and the Ghanaian Nation,” said Sir Adjaye, the founder and principal of Adjaye Associates.
In a statement, President Akufo-Addo announced that the new cathedral will be a “Church of national purpose.” He added that, “It will be an interdenominational house of worship and prayer, as well as serve as the venue for formal state occasions of a religious nature, such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals, and national thanksgiving services.”
The announcement about the national cathedral project last year got mixed reactions from Ghanaians and stakeholders, according to Buzz Ghana. Some lauded the initiative while some rejected the idea.
Those opposed argued that the government must not be involved in religious activities since Ghana is a secular country. One critic even filed a case against the government before the Supreme Court.
President Akufo-Addo, however, remains steadfast in his vision to have the Ghana National Cathedral. He explained that funding the project will come from churches and the entire Christian community in Ghana, and not from the government.
“It is a project that is very dear to my heart, and I’m hoping that together we will be able to realize it,” he said.