President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday performed a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin the construction of the National Cathedral of Ghana, an iconic landmark, which will be a place of interdenominational worship by the Christian community.
The President received the Foundation Stone imported from Jerusalem from the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Shani Cooper, and assisted by Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, Osu Mantse and President of the Osu Traditional Council, laid the symbolic stone on the spot, where the altar of the Cathedral would be built.
This follows three years of preparatory work by a 14-member Board of Trustees of the Cathedral, chaired by Most Reverend Professor Samuel Asante Antwi.
The Cathedral, upon completion, would be one of the iconic landmarks in Africa and a rallying point for the Christian community to come together to worship, pray and promote deep national conversation of faith in building the nation.
The ceremony was witnessed by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira, Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, traditional rulers, the Diplomatic Community, eminent clergy men and women and the public.
President Akufo-Addo, in an address, reiterated the reasons for mobilising support for the construction of the edifice, noting that, the country had enjoyed immeasurable blessings, favour, grace and mercies from the Almighty, and therefore the construction of the Cathedral would be an act of thanksgiving and redemption of a pledge he made to God.
He said it was also in fulfillment of a pledge he made to God in the run-up to the 2016 Election that if God granted him victory in the election after two unsuccessful attempts, he would help build a Cathedral in His honour and glory, saying; “I’m determined to redeem my pledge to God”.
In addition, it would unify the 71 per cent of the Ghanaian population who are Christians and thereby help promote national unity and social cohesion.
The President said since the nation gained independence from the British colonial administration in 1957, Ghana was spared civil wars, diseases, famine and epidemic and believed that it was by the grace of God that the state was persevered and sustained.
He expressed appreciation to the members of the Board of Trustees for their tremendous efforts and lauded renowned British Architect Sir David Adjyaye with Ghanaian descent, who designed the Cathedral for his compelling architectural services.
The Most Rev. Prof. Asante Antwi, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, in his welcome remarks, said the vision of the Cathedral was mooted by the President and would be a partnership between the State and the Christian community.
The Cathedral, upon completion, would have a Secretariat to manage its day-to-day activities.
He said the Board constituted seven structures or committees including; administrative, Prayer, Finance and Funding as well as Procurement to mobilise funds and prepare the ground towards the construction of the edifice.
The Cathedral, upon completion, would be a unifying monument with a 5,000-seat auditorium, Conference Centre, Music School, Art Gallery and Bible Museum and hosts international Pilgrimage.
It was designed by a renowned British Architect with Ghanaian descent, Sir David Adjaye and sited on a-5.5 hectares of land, near the State House, Ridge, Accra.