Ghana’s National Cathedral Secretariat has outlined economic, social and religious benefits of the National Cathedral project when completed.
In a press statement addressing concerns raised by Ghanaians on the ongoing National Cathedral project and matters arising, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah said, the National Cathedral represents a key moment in our national life.
According to him, as the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo explains it; as a deeply religious people, the National cathedral provides a historic opportunity to put God at the center of our nation’s affairs, and serves as a symbol of our eternal and continuous gratitude to Him, for the favors that He continues to shower and bestow on our Nation.
He explained that, with an auditorium space of 5,000 expandable to 15,000; chapels, and prayer rooms, it provides
the missing infrastructure for solemn national occasions like state funerals, presidential inaugural services, and national thanksgiving services.
Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah again said, as an infrastructure, it also provides a platform for Christian unity for the over 70% of our population who are Christians, thereby fostering national cohesion, as the Supreme Court agued in its January 23, 2019 seminal ruling in favour of the
project. In a context where our politics is retrogressively partisan, and our church landscape problematically denominationalized, such unity and cohesion are essential to Our future.
He added that, the addition of Africa’s first Bible Museum that has a thematic focus on the role of Africa, and Africans, in the Bible, and the Biblical Gardens of Africa that includes the trees, shrubs and flowers of Bible, provides additional relevance for the National Cathedral project. Potentially, therefore, it enables the development of the country into a major site for religious pilgrimage-a religious hub
and a home for African Christianity.
“Ultimately, this is aimed at radically transforming our tourism industry, by serving as a major source for revenue mobilization, and job creation. The Cathedral and Museum will also serve as a convening platform for National, African, and Global conversations on the role of faith and national transformation.” He said.
Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah assures Ghanaians that, the addition of an “economic engine” to this national monument consisting of multiple revenue sources, including multipurpose rental spaces, 1000+ seater banquet hall, a 350-seater restaurant, cafe, shop, theaters, conference hall, etc., introduces a sustainable model for managing our national monuments.
The development of such infrastructure always involves upfront investment that might seem to be competing with other societal needs. Yet the history of economic development shows that the economic impact of such projects is almost immediate once the project is completed. In the meantime, there is an economic benefit in the building of the project resulting in new jobs and the benefit to those supplying construction equipment and materials. Increase in tourism is one of the best ways for a country to create “new” revenue, not just regurgitate existing revenue.
For instance, the prospects of attracting even just 10% of the over 600 million Christian in Africa religious tourist who may aspire to visit the National Cathedral at some point in their lives present a major economic opportunity for the country.
“Similarly, the growing interest in the project by black churches in America augurs well for the National cathedral, and the country. Yet, four years into the development of this historic, and game-changing project, questions still persist about the nature of the project, its funding, and its relevance to the nation.”