President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the ultra-modern National Mosque of Ghana in Accra.
The 10 million dollar Mosque complex, the second-largest in West Africa, is situated on a 42-acre land at Kanda. The Turkish Hudai Foundation built it in Accra with the support of the Turkish government.
The Muslim sanctuary comprises a 15,000 seater-capacity mosque, a library, an office complex and residence for the Chief Imam, a research complex, a senior high school complex, a clinic, an administration block, an auditorium, and a conference centre.
The Mosque is a replica of the Ottoman-era historical Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, Turkey.
At the official ceremony to open the Mosque to the Muslim community in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said it was heartwarming that as a Christian dominated country, a symbol of Islam can beautifully be adorned on the landscape of the capital city.
To him, “it is not just the beauty it adds to the Accra skyline,” but the demonstration of religious harmony that exist in Ghana, which continues to be the envy of the rest of the world.
Emphasising the importance of the Mosque in the theological aspect of Islam, the President said the Mosque was not just a place of prayer but a hub for social and cultural activity.
He stressed the invaluable role the Mosque would play in positively impacting the lives of Muslims in the country.
“In other words, a mosque is supposed to bring people together and not divide them,” President Akufo-Addo stated, urging the National Chief Imam and Muslim leaders in the country to use the occasion of the ceremony to further foster the unity of the Muslim community and other religious groups in the country.
The President called on the managers of the Mosque to take good care of the facility and build its profile as a tourist destination for travellers and devotees of the faith.
He tasked the Tourism minister to craft an appropriate strategy to make the edifice a place of pilgrimage and tourism.
The President thanked the government and the people of Turkey for the sacrifice they had made to bring the National Mosque of Ghana project to fruition.
President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that the gesture would further deepen the strong bonds of cooperation and friendship between Ghana and Turkey.
“You have indeed honoured our country with such a magnificent edifice. In the days to come, this edifice will serve as a historical reference point in Ghana-Turkey relationship,” he said.
The mosque complex will serve Ghanaians, Muslims and faith-based people across the world as a mosque, a scientific institution, and a health and social services centre.
The event was attended by the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the immediate former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou.
Also at the event were Professor Ali Abass, President for the Directorate Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, the diplomatic community, and a host of dignitaries, including religious leaders and traditional rulers.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD