Kay Muir Leresche is a retired Professor of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Zimbabwe where she was involved in catalysing change at the university and in the rural areas.  She worked closely with rural communities developing tenure and management systems for natural resource and wildlife management as well as establishing improved agricultural marketing systems and undertaking agricultural and rural development policy analysis.  She retired after 25years and then went on to work with international agencies to support smallholder communities promoting improved and sustainable livelihoods, agrobiodiversity and capactiy development. Kay engaged closely with RUFORUM since inception supporting transformation of rural communities through university research and teaching programmes. Kay worked in the private sector in agricultural marketing and trade, tourism and journalism before joining academia in 1980.  Kay is committed to inclusive and sustainable rural development and to ensuring that Africa develops the relevant skills needed to take advantage of the continent’s youth dividend and natural resources. The future of Africa is bright but only with massive investment in education that develops the creativity and adaptability of the youth, giving them the skills to use new technology for innovation and self-employment.