Executive Director

Prof Langa Khumalo
Executive Director


Professor Langa Khumalo is the former Director of the Language Planning and Development Office at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), where he led the effort to develop African languages as languages of research, innovation, teaching and learning in Higher Education through an intellectualization programme that saw the development of human language technologies and advances in machine learning, and other digital solutions.

He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Oslo (Norway), an MPhil in Linguistics from Cambridge University (UK), and a Certificate in Corpus Linguistics from The Tuscan Word Centre in Italy. He also completed an Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme (OSLP) at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University (UK) and is a member of the Oxford Business Alumni Network. He is the current Chair and Coordinator of the Africa Union (AU) IsiZulu Language Commission. He is an expert in Corpus Linguistics and Computational Solutions for the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), which is the Secretariat of the AU. He is the immediate past Chair of the Universities South Africa (USAf)’s Community of Practice for The Teaching and Learning of African Languages (CoPAL). He is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society (FCCS), a former Language Champion in the Oxford Global Languages program (OGL) for Oxford University Press (UK), a member of the Scientific Board of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS, University of the Western Cape), the current President of the African Association for Lexicography (AFRILEX), and a member of the inaugural Executive Committee of the Digital Humanities in Southern Africa (DHASA), after serving for a year as its steering committee member.

He served as a member of the Language Policy Review Working Group appointed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). He is an award-winning author in Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics. He is a recipient of the Staff Excellence Award (2018) for Excellence in Teaching at UKZN. He has been an invited speaker and keynote speaker at various conferences and colloquia. He successfully applied for the ERAMUS+ Funding through an international collaboration between UKZN and three other South African Universities on the one hand, and Salamanca University in Spain and other European universities.


  • Certificate, Strategic Leadership Programme, University of Oxford, UK, 2022.
  • Certificate, Advanced Leadership Development Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA, 2016.
  • PhD Linguistics, University of Oslo, Norway, 2007.
  • MPhil. Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK, 2000.
  • Certificate, Corpus Linguistics, Tuscany Word Centre, Italy, 1999.

Work experience:

  • 2014 – 2020       Director: University Language Planning and Development Office, UKZN.
  • 2015 – 2019       Language Champion: Oxford Global Languages, Oxford University Press (UK).
  • 2018 – 2020       Associate Professor, School of Arts, UKZN.