It appears majority of Ghanaians are not really enthused about government’s decision to build a National Cathedral as earlier speculated by the Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide that they are.
Pius Hadzide in an interview with Citi FM said those who oppose the construction of the cathedral are in the minority.
However, there were mixed reactions by some section of Ghanaians in Accra when GhanaWeb decided to know their stance on the establishment of the cathedral.
According to them, the National Cathedral shouldn’t be the top priority of government as the country is currently facing challenges in the economic sector. They believe government should rather focus on more stressing issues like investing in businesses that would help solve the unemployment rate in the country than to build a cathedral that will be of no use to the nation.
Although some agreed with the construction of the building, they claim government’s timing is wrong and moreover, the location government intends to build it must be relocated to ease traffic congestion in the capital city.
Former Lands Minister and Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has also advised government to relocate the yet-to-be-built cathedral from Accra to Afienya or any of its lands outside Accra since to him it will further worsen vehicular traffic in the capital.
As it stands, the new building will stretch alongside the Osu Cemetery and takeover lands around the Ridge roundabout, the Scholarship Secretariat, the Judicial Training Institute, the Passport Office and the residences of nine judges. All of those buildings would be demolished and relocated elsewhere.
The National Cathedral will be surrounded by more than five hectares of landscaped gardens, will serve as a place of worship and a community hub that will encompass several chapels, a baptistery, a school, an art gallery and Africa’s first bible museum.
The building’s concept will infuse religion, democracy and tradition with heavy emphasis on Ghanaian culture. The design will include high ceilings, a breathtaking concave roof with sweeping stairs leading up to a timber entrance.
Local designers have been hired to decorate the cathedral’s interior. A new ceremonial route will link the cathedral to Accra’s State House and Independence Square.
51-year-old Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, will spearhead the project. His development firm, Adjaye Associates will collaborate with government to build the cathedral.
"It is an immense honour to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import to my home country," Adjaye said on the Dezeen website earlier this year. "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."
The firm is headquartered in London with other offices in New York and a new branch opening in Accra. Adjaye has worked on architectural designs in North America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including One Berkeley Street, a £600 million residential project in London’s prestigious Piccadilly area.
Neither the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources nor Adjaye Associates commented on the cost of the project. It is also unclear which sector will cover the costs and/or if it will be funded by taxpayers.
No details are available on when the project will commence and how long it will be until completion. But take note, The Washington National Cathedral in the United States’ capital took 83 years to build. So don’t hold your breath.