• Sentimag Gen Ad x
  • US KEY Keytruda ADT HCP Update Patient Candidate Banner Ads MT Branded Static x
  • Surgical Oncology Insight Banner Ad x


Global Header

West African College of Surgeons

History of the West African College of Surgeons

After a brilliant undergraduate and postgraduate career in the United Kingdom, a young Camerounian decided to return to West Africa to continue his march to the excellence of the science and art of surgery. It was in the late months of 1959 and his name was Victor Anoma Ngu. On the same flight was Dr. Charles Bowesman, a British surgeon in the services of the Ghana Government at Kumasi. Either as a diversion from fear, or to ward off the boredom of air travel, they discussed the need for surgeons in practice in West Africa to meet occasionally and exchange experiences in surgical problems that relate to the local milieu. When the plane landed in Accra, it was the last time that Victor saw or heard from Dr. Bowesman, but it was the beginning of the Associations of Surgeons West Africa.

The first council meeting of the then Association of Surgeons of West Africa was held in Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria on December 3, 1960. It was also the venue of its first Annual Conference which was held in 1961. Annual Conferences have been held ever since. In 1969, the Association’s objective of promoting post-graduate education and training in surgery led to the establishment in Accra of the West African College of Surgeons to run “pari passu” with the Association of Surgeons of West Africa (ASWA). In 1973, at Benin City the functions assets and liabilities were transferred to the College while the Association ceased to exist.

In January 1975, the College was by resolution inaugurated as a constituent College of the West African Postgraduate Medical College (WAPMC), a specialized agency of the West African Health Community.

The financial constraints, which hitherto had accounted for the slow progress of the College, loosened. The structure of faculties and the regulations of the examinations quickly emerged in addition to the faculty syllabi. The first examinations under the WAPMC program took place in October 1979. The examination centers were in Ibadan, Accra and Monrovia. The College has intensified its training program by the frequent organization of postgraduate courses in Lagos, Accra, Benin and Ibadan. Many more are planned in in more diverse centers in collaboration with existing institutions in the area. The Diplomas of the College are recognized in the participating countries and guaranteed by the signatories of the West African Health Community Treaty.

Scroll to Top