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National Cathedral Board begs for support from the diaspora



The Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral is organising a three-day bible-reading event to seek God’s face, as well as support from Ghanaians and Africans in the diaspora toward the construction of the edifice.

At the opening of the bible-reading marathon, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah said Christians in the diaspora will be incorporated into the whole programme.

“Ultimately, it will also be a way of reaching out to the diaspora to support the National Cathedral project”, he said, adding: “It is our prayer that through the Bible-reading and worship service, we will all come to the understanding of the essence of the National Cathedral project and support it fully.”

He said the programme is conceived of as an initiative for the African diaspora to experience authentic Ghanaian Christian worship and based on one of the distinctive aspects of Ghanaian and African Christianity, the vibrancy of its worship.

“It will involve reading of the Bible by some of the African diaspora, which is one of the main activities that goes on in temples, cathedrals, and basilicas.”

“The exercise begins one of the main activities of the National Cathedral and we will collaborate with the Ghana Tourism Authority and Beyond the Return Secretariat to ensure the active and adequate participation of the African diaspora,” he added.

A few days ago, the minority blocked an GHS80 million budget allocated to the construction of the cathedral.

Within that same period, President Akufo-Addo said his decision to build a national cathedral to the glory of God has more supporters than the ‘Sanballats and Tobiahs’ against it.

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“Just like Sanballat and Tobiahs in the days of Nehemiah, there are some who do not share my views on the building of the National Cathedral”, the president said, adding: “I respect their right to differ but I am confident my decision [is backed] by the vast numbers of enthusiastic supporters of this project, whose spiritual dimension is limitless”.

The president made the comment on Sunday, 18 December 2022, when he delivered an address at the centenary celebration of the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, held at the Black Star Square, Accra.

The president noted that upon completion, the National Cathedral will serve not only as the country’s collective thanksgiving “to the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed on our nation, sparing us the ravages of civil war that have bedevilled the histories of virtually all our neighbours, and the outbreak of deadly mass epidemics but also as a rallying point for the entire Christian community of Ghana, which represents seventy-plus per cent of the population.”

Addressing the congregation, which included the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, the asked the Ga Presbytery, and, indeed, all Christians, to continue to pray for Ghana’s peace and unity, so the nation can move forward in unity.

“I need the support of every Ghanaian, together with the prayers of the church, to help me and my government carry out our mandate successfully. Pray for me so that Almighty God will continue to give me wisdom, strength, courage and compassion to enable me to execute my duties as a good leader. With Him, all things are possible, as the battle is the Lord’s. For this, too, shall pass”, President Akufo-Addo said.

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Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, recently said the National Cathedral is not a sensible project to undertake in the midst of an economic crisis.

In his view, the government could use the site for the project, for a more sensible venture.

Speaking at a roundtable organised by the Citizen’s Coalition in Accra on Thursday, 15 December 2022, Professor Prempeh said making allocations for the cathedral in the 2023 budget beats his imagination.

“When you are in a crisis, you can do exceptional things, I don’t see anything in the budget to suggest that this is a crisis and that this is being done as an emergency measure,” Professor Prempeh said.

“This is not the time for vanity projects but we have preserved a vanity project in the form of the cathedral. I was expecting that this being a crisis period, we will reflect on that decision and say: ‘even if this is sensible to do at all’ – and I do not think so – that it will not be the appropriate period or we will change the idea to something else”.

“There is a lot that we can still do with that site which can make sense”.

“So, generally it is a missed opportunity in terms of seeing this as a crisis moment and seeing it as a moment to reset the button”, Prof Prempeh noted.


“I think we have not quite done that”, he stressed.

“It looks to me that it is purely an emergency thing targeted at the IMF to approve a loan, as opposed to something that is going deep into the structure and our governance,” Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh admonished in his assessment.

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Prof Prempeh is in good company with pressure group OccupyGhana which recently recommended that the government suspend all public expenditure on the National Cathedral considering that the country is going through an economic crisis.

“Whatever arguments there might have been to support spending now-non-existent money on the proposed National Cathedral, have been eroded by the dire straits that the nation faces”, the group said in a statement.

“Our current situation makes the continued commitment in the budget to spend GHS80m on the cathedral, look like a vanity project”, it noted.

OG said: “We lose nothing by suspending expenditure on that project until the economy recovers”.

The National Cathedral was a personal promise made to God by then-presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo if he won the 2016 election.


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