The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents:

Africa Rising: Economic Partnerships, Energy & Mineral Development, and Coups & Conflict

This in-person lunch event with bring together a panel of speakers who will discuss a plethora of issues relating to the African continent including: U.S.-Africa relations & initiatives like Prosper Africa, demographic and social trends,
economic growth trends & international trade, diffusion of technologies like mobile telephones, IT, and AI, China’s role, terrorism and proxy wars, climate change, and energy & mineral development.

Dr. Kelechi Kalu

Professor of Political Science, University of California, Riverside and expert on African political economy, U.S.-Africa relations, & international politics

Peter Bryant

 Board Chair of Clareo, a firm that provides expert advice to the mining and energy sectors, and Co-Founder & Board Chair of the Development Partner Institute, a nonprofit focused on improved social, economic, and environmental outcomes from resource development projects

Our moderator will be:

Samar Al-Bulushi

Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine and expert on Kenya, East Africa, imperialism, and transnationalism

Date & Time:

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

11:30 am -1:30 pm

Reception & Lunch: 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Moderated Discussion: 12:15 – 12:45 pm

Audience Q&A: 12:45 – 1:15 pm


Quail Hill Community Center

35 Shady Canyon Dr.

Irvine, CA 92603


Registration Opening Soon!


Free on-site self-parking

Further Reading:

The World’s Shameful Neglect of Sudan, Council on Foreign Relations

Q&A: Why the world could be headed towards a ‘minerals famine’

Panelist Bios:

Dr. Kelechi Kalu

Kelechi A. Kalu is a Professor of Political Science at University of California, Riverside. Kalu previously served as the Founding Vice Provost for International Affairs at UCR from 2015-2020 and then as Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs and Professor of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. His Ph.D. (1997) is in International Studies from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Kalu earned an M.A. (1988) in Political Science from the University of Dayton, Ohio and a BA (1986) in Political Science from University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

His research and teaching interests are in International Politics, African Political Economy and U.S. Africa Relations. Kalu was a Mellon Research Fellow in the Department of Government, Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut in 1994–95, Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (1990–2008) and Faculty affiliate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University.

He is widely published and has served as a consultant to the World Bank on Public Sector Governance and to the Asian Development Bank on Managing Sustainable Development in Resource-Rich Countries. He is a recipient of grants from The Ford Foundation, The Mershon Center and The Korea Foundation. He is co-editor and contributor of West Africa and the U.S. War on Terror (Routledge, 2013), Territoriality, Citizenship and Peacebuilding: Perspectives on Challenges to Peace in Africa (UK: Adonis and Abbey, 2013) and United States–Africa Security Relations (Routledge, 2014).

Peter Bryant

Peter Bryant is a recognized thought leader on the energy transition and the criticality of the minerals value chain; ESG and sustainability; and broadscale innovation and digital transformation. He speaks on these topics extensively at leading conferences and for organizations, most recently speaking at the 2024 and 2023 Future Minerals Forums (FMF) in Saudi Arabia, COP26, and CERAWeek 2022. He spoke to 1,750 global oil and gas leaders at the Baker Hughes 2020 Annual Energy Forward Meeting, and keynoted the New Zealand Prime Minister’s 2019 Just Transition to Net Zero Emissions Summit. He currently leads the Key Minerals Forum, an informal coalition of major mining companies and policymakers formed in 2024, created to help educate and inform members of US Congress on global issues related to the energy transition and key minerals needed. 

Peter is the Board Chair of Clareo, a firm that provides expert advice to the mining and energy sectors, and Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Development Partner Institute, a nonprofit focused on improved social, economic, and environmental outcomes for communities from resource development projects. He sits on the Board of Advisors for two leading VC Funds, Chrysalix and Foundamental, along with various emerging tech companies, including Lilac Solutions, Symboticware, and Safe.AI. In addition, he has served on the Innovation Councils for multiple mining and energy companies.

He has advised many leading companies around the world, including Anglo American, BHP, Rio Tinto, Teck Resources, JCI, BP, GE O&G, Baker Hughes, Castrol, Edison International, and Goldcorp. He is an invited participant in the joint Rockefeller Foundation and Brookings Institute 17 Rooms program, focused on accelerating the 17 UN-established Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He is also a regular participant at WEF’s annual Mine Ministers Summit and the FMF Ministerial Roundtable. Peter co-authored The Growth Champions –The Battle for Sustained Innovation Leadership, published in 2012.

Peter’s opinion pieces have been published in the Journal of Petroleum TechnologyMining Global, and Chief Executive, and he is often quoted in the Wall Street Journal. He has also been interviewed by Bloomberg and CNBC Arabia.

Peter immigrated to the U.S. in 1996, from New Zealand by way of Australia. He currently lives in Southern California and has two daughters, one a recent graduate of SMU and the other an incoming student at Victoria University of Wellington. You can read his recent personal features in VoyageHouston’s Canvas Rebel and Kia Ora Magazine.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He holds a CA from the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a co-founder of The World Innovation Network (formerly The Kellogg Innovation Network).

Moderator Bio:

Dr. Samar Al-Bulushi

Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

Samar Al-Bulushi is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine and Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute. Her book, War-Making as World-Making: Kenya, the United States and the War on Terror (Stanford University Press), argues that Kenya’s emergence as a key player in the “war on terror” is closely linked—but not reducible to—the U.S. military’s growing proclivity to outsource the labor of war.

Al-Bulushi is a former contributing editor at Africa is a Country and has published in a variety of public outlets on topics ranging from the International Criminal Court to the militarization of U.S. policy in Africa. Her writing and interviews have appeared in The Intercept, Teen Vogue, Democracy Now!, Africa is a Country, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera, Pambazuka, Review of African Political Economy, and Warscapes.

Al-Bulushi received her BA at Columbia University, her MA from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her PhD in anthropology from Yale University.