Back to Africa Check

Ghana didn’t donate US$2m for Notre Dame rebuild – the story is satire

Ghana has donated US$2 million for the reconstruction of France’s Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, claims an article from the site NewsmuNews that’s been widely shared on Facebook.

The famous Gothic cathedral lost most of its roof to a fire that started during renovations in April 2019. 

The article shows a photo from a joint press conference with Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo and French president Emmanuel Macron in December 2017, in Accra, Ghana. 

“Ghana is about constructing their own version of the National Cathedral and cannot therefore sit as fire destroys another. For this reason, the Government of Ghana is rumoured to have contributed an amount of 2 million [US dollars] to France,” the article says.

“Now, let's have your say. Did Ghana do well or nah?”

In April Akufo-Addo was criticised for tweeting about the Notre Dame fire while remaining silent about people killed in floods in Accra, the country’s capital city.

Ghanaian presidency debunked it

Rumours of the $2 million donation spread on social media. Ghana’s presidency quickly debunked them. 

The presidency’s communications director, Eugene Arhin, said: “The assertions being made on social media to the effect that President Akufo-Addo has donated $2 million to the rebuilding of the Notre Dame Cathedral are not true. No such thing has been done. We urge all to disregard this false news.”

Ghana not on donor’s list

Within days of the Notre Dame fire, nearly €900 million had been pledged for its reconstruction by donors from all over the world. 

Multiple international news outlets published a list of over 20 main donors, including banks, insurers, oil firms, tech companies and public institutions. Ghana’s government is not on the list.   

Satirical website

And it turns out the story was satire, possibly poking fun at Akufo-Addo’s tweet about Notre Dame. NewsmuNews is based in Ghana and identifies itself as a “news, sports and political satire web publication”. 

A disclaimer on the site reads: “All news articles contained within NewsmuNews are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.” – Allwell Okpi 

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.