President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the real essence of the National Cathedral project will represent not just the Ghanaian Christian faith but that of Africa in its entirety.
“Just as the building of the Temple of Solomon was an epoch-making event not only in Israel, but also in the whole world, we believe the building of the National Cathedral is an epochal event not only in Ghana, but also in the rest of Africa,” he stated yesterday.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (Secam), on the theme “Ownership Of Secam; Security And Migration In Africa And The Islands.”
Developed as the “Home for African Christianity,” the President said, the design, described as an “Architectural Expression of African Christianity,” captures the moment when Christianity became a significant force on Africa’s cultural landscape.
He added that the project also includes a Bible Museum of Africa, will be the largest Bible Museum in the world, with a thematic focus on the role of Africa and Africans in the Bible, and, the history and contemporary place of the church in Africa and the African Diaspora.
He added: “It will house the Bible translated into African languages, tell the story of the Church in Africa and the African Diaspora, and provide a convening platform for discussions on the role of faith in Africa’s transformation.”
He mentioned that there would also be the Biblical Gardens of Africa, which will include the trees, shrubs and flowers of the Bible, and serve as a major resource for Christians all over the African continent aside the numerous facilities.
“These three initiatives, the path breaking design, the Bible Museum of Africa, and the Biblical gardens of Africa will help to ensure the relevance of the project to the Church in Africa,” he added.
Rise to challenge
President Akufo-Addo also disclosed arrangements “to engage the Vatican Museum and Library to see whether it will be possible to secure artifacts that will help to make this into a major resource centre for African Christians. The Vatican has been known to provide such assistance in appropriate cases.”
“Let us build our National Cathedral to be the epicentre of our lives, the place for our great celebrations, our thanksgiving, our funerals, and the place for great moments of silence and introspection, the place that symbolises the place of faith in our national psyche,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo is optimistic that the Christian community in Ghana, Africa and abroad, will rise to the challenge, and join in the fundraising for the construction of the National Cathedral.
“I do not envisage that this project will take a century to complete like the great historical cathedrals of the world. Technology has transformed building methods dramatically, and I am certain that, if the Christian community accepts the challenge, we shall construct this cathedral and quickly. Once completed, its value will be obvious to all,” he said.