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Sat, 06.25.1859

Benjamin Quartey-Papafio, Physician born

Benjamin Quartey-Papafio

*Benjamin Quartey-Papafio was born on this date in 1859.  He was a Black physician and politician on the Gold Coast. 

Benjamin William Quartey-Papafio was born into a leading Accra, Ghana family: his parents were Chief William Quartey-Papafio and Momo Omedru, a businesswoman from Gbese (Dutch Accra).  His brother, Emmanuel, was an agriculturist and a trader, and Arthur, was a lawyer. Two other members of the Quartey-Papafio family, Clement W. and Hugh (children of Emmanuel William Kwate Quartey-Papafio), also became barristers.  

Quartey-Papafio was educated at the CMS Grammar School and Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, before traveling to study in Britain. Gaining a B.A. from Durham University, he enrolled as a medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1882 before relocating to Edinburgh University. He graduated from Edinburgh with the degree M.B. and M.Ch. in 1886 and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.  Returning to the Gold Coast, he was a medical officer for the Gold Coast Government Service from 1888 until 1905 and was also in private practice. Quartey-Papafio had three children by Hannah Maria Ekua Duncan of a Cape Coast/Elmina family. 

On October 8, 1896, at St Bartholomew-the-Great Church in Smithfield, London, he married Eliza Sabina Meyer, daughter of Richard Meyer of Accra, and the couple had six children.  A member of the Accra Town Council from 1909 to 1912, Quartey-Papafio was also a member of the 1911 deputation to London that protested the Forest Bill.  He was an unofficial member of the Legislative Council from 1919 to 1924.  He was a practicing Anglican.  Benjamin Quartey-Papafio, the first African to receive a medical degree in the Gold Coast, died on September 14, 1924. 

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