The National Cathedral can rake in a mighty lot of revenue for Ghana once completed, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said.
Drawing inspiration from Israel and Mecca, two pilgrimage destinations that rake in billions annually, Mr Ofori-Atta said at the Ghana Tourism Investment Summit 2023 that the cathedral could be another source of revenue for Ghana considering the huge Christian population in Africa.
“This whole issue about the National Cathedral, in my mind, is the third leg of this triangle because how do you build a society in which you are clear in defining who you are politically? How do you build a society in which the economic engine is growing? And how do you contain that within the spiritual realm that ensures stability in the ages to come? And so, even as we look at something like the National Cathedral that has economic benefits beyond what we see, both in Israel and the Hajj, they realise about $6 billion to $8 billion a year and in Africa, we have some 600 million people who are Christians and, so, imagine Ghana as the new Jerusalem. It will be a different reality.”
The National Cathedral, according to its website, is a historic project that provides a sacred space and infrastructure for the formal religious activities of the nation, like state funerals and presidential inaugural services.
It is this national character that distinguishes it from the other cathedrals in the country, the website explained.
“We are taking the bold vision of the President for a Sacred National infrastructure, linking it to the path-breaking design of iconic Architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, and organically anchoring these in world-class programs – including Africa’s first Museum of the Bible whose development is supervised by Cary Summers, the founding President of the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC”.
“We have engaged the very best of Ghana with the very best in the world. The result of the integration of the vision, design, and programming is an iconic infrastructure that provides a sacred space for the nation, attracts pilgrims and tourists, and includes a built-in economic engine for financial sustainability”, the Secretariat says on the website.
Three Christian clerics associated with the project, Archbishop Duncan-Williams, Rev Eastwood Anaba and Bishop Dag Heward-Mills resigned from the project at different times citing different reasons.