Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson was born in Nsuta-Wassaw (Ghana) on October 11, 1948. From 1962 to 1969 he attended «St. Theresa's Seminary», in Amisano; from 1969 to 1971 he attended «St. Peter's Regional Seminary», in Pedu. He then obtained his Master in Divinity at «St. Anthony-on-Hudson», Conv. Franciscan Seminary, New York, where he stayed during the years from 1971 to 1975. On July 20, 1975 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast. Later, he finished his studies specializing in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, during the period 1976-1980 for his Licentiate and during the period from 1987 to 1992 for his Doctorate. From 1975 to 1976 and 1980 to 1981 he taught at «St. Theresa's Seminary»; from 1981 to 1987 he was a Professor of Sacred Scriptures and Vice-Rector of «St. Peter's Seminary»; at the same time, he was part-time Professor at the University of Cape Coast, Department of Religion (1984-1986); and Adjunct Chaplain at the University of Cape Coast (1984-1986), as well as visiting professor at the Major Seminary in Anyama in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (1983-1986).
On October 6, 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Cape Coast on and later elevated him to Cardinal at the Consistory on October 21, 2003.
He was President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Ghana from 1997 to 2004; member of the Council of the University of Ghana, Legon, (2001-2006); Treasurer of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, SECAM (2007-2009). He was Vice-President of the Association of the Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA). In October of 2009 he was the General Speaker at the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, at the end of which Pope Benedict XVI appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
On September 24, 2013, Pope Francis confirmed him as head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and, in 2016, appointed him as the first Prefect of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.