Row in Ghana over grand cathedral plans

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The president’s plans for a cathedral in Ghana costing $200m (£144m) have come under fire in a week when thousands have been protesting against economic hardship and saying the money could be better spent elsewhere.

A board member of the national cathedral project defended President Nana Akufo-Addo, saying the plan was intended to unify Ghanaians.

“We don’t expect that that because of his vision he should dip his hands into his pocket to pay for it,” Pastor Victor Kusi-Boateng told BBC Focus on Africa.

“Ghana is over 70% Christian. The cathedral is where the Pentecostals, and the Charismatics and every [denomination] can find a level playing ground to unify us.

“We have a need as a third world country, but we still send people to the Olympics – we still have money to build sport stadiums and arenas.”

The pastor also said that the Christian church founded many of Ghana’s best schools, that faith played a key role in Ghanaian society, and that the ambitious project went further than expected.

“Beside the cathedral we are incorporating the second-largest Bible museum, [and] a biblical garden with every fruit and vegetable in the Bible, and building a replica of the Wailing Wall.”

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