Africa at a crossroads: the continent's future prospects 50 years after the formation of the Organisation of African Unity/African Union
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These proceedings are therefore meant to disseminate knowledge, inspire other emerging scholars - in particular those at universities - and encourage them to write and publish their own work. It is quite humbling to note how the contribution of young scientists can actually influence policy direction. Ms Buhle Francis, one of the award winners of this Conference, and Mr Ngobizitha Dube, from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, received overwhelming praise from Zimbabwean Parliamentarians for their innovative projects - in particular Ms Francis' research findings on the effects of the poisonous Optuntia fulgida or Cactus rosea plant that has invaded Matabeleland South Province in Zimbabwe. Her research proposed specific solutions to the problem and the government of Zimbabwe has considered investing US$2.5 million for the eradication of the plant. These proceedings challenge young scientists, mentors in institutions of higher and further education, and governments of African countries to support research and development for the betterment of the continent.