Mr. Terkper was born in Somanya in the Eastern Region of Ghana, where he started his Elementary School education in the Presby cluster of schools. He obtained his first degree in Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana. He is also a Chartered Accountant who holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
As a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) from March 2009 to January 2013, Mr. Terkper worked mainly on the Budget and Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) as well as on revenue policy and administration. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and chaired the joint Steering Committee of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) reforms. During the period, he became very active in working on government business in Parliament, including the passage of Bills and approval of International Agreements.
Between July 1999 and February 2009, Mr. Terkper held various positions (last as Senior Economist) in the Fiscal Affairs Dept. (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He participated in, and led, several technical assistance (TA) missions to member-states to improve the organization, process and legislation for revenue institutions. In so doing, he worked with colleagues in the Tax Policy [TP] and other Divisions in FAD; the African and Legal departments; the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre [CARTAC]; and other IMF units to achieve critical TA goals. As a chartered accountant and public administrator, he follows fiscal, accounting, and other economic trends closely.
Before joining the IMF, Mr. Terkper worked in staff and management positions—including National VAT Coordinator and Deputy Commissioner—in the National Revenue Secretariat (MOFEP) and revenue agencies in Ghana. He played a key role in the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) in Ghana. He has consulted for the IMF; Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), Harvard International Tax Program (ITP); African Development Bank [AfDB], and UN Committee of Tax Experts. He was a correspondent for Tax Analysts, USA. Mr. Terkper has been part of—and participated in leadership positions in—local government (including membership of the Yilo District Assembly), social, religious, and student bodies.
Mr. Terkper published a book on VAT (VAT Handbook by Thompson-Reuters) in 2011 and continues to maintain a keen interest in research, publications, reviews and teaching. He promotes a team effort and uses leadership and motivational skills to achieve challenging goals.
Mr. Seth Terkper was appointed Minister of Finance by President John Dramani Mahama when the latter won the December 7, 2012 election.