The University of KwaZulu-Natal's acting vice-chancellor, Professor Nana Poku, has been appointed to the position on a permanent basis, the institution's council announced on Tuesday.
Poku will start his five-year term with immediate effect.
He has been the acting vice-chancellor and principal since October 2018, when Dr Albert van Jaarsveld resigned after being appointed as the director-general and CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria.
The university said in a statement that Poku's appointment followed a global search and was made with the unanimous approval of both the council and university's senior appointments committee.
Poku in accepting the highest academic leadership position within the university's structure, making him responsible for providing leadership in all strategic areas, said it was an honour and privilege to be chosen.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to lead the university into the future, to build on its legacy and to continue to fulfill its founding vision in the strategic areas of research, training, and outreach," he added.
"I look forward to working with the university community in achieving our goals."
Poku - who holds a PhD in International Political Economy and has a distinguished career in research and policy on the political economy of health and HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa - was employed by the university six years ago as the executive director of the Health Economics and Aids Research Institute.
He was appointed as the deputy vice-chancellor of the College of Law and Management Studies in 2017.
The council's acting chairperson, Dr Letticia Moja, welcomed Poku's appointment.
"We are looking forward to his leadership and guidance. We are confident of his ability and commitment to contribute toward taking the university to greater heights," Moja said.