In this article, we examine the intersection of energy and colonialism in Africa. Specifically, we argue that at the core, colonial projects are driven by the imperative to transform the potential energy stored in colonized (or colonizable) subjects into mechanical energy for the production of wealth. We cohere how the search for new forms of energy has engendered vociferous criticism of fossil fuel and other environmentally degrading sources of energy under energy colonialism. We critique this rationale and identify the (neo)colonial catalysts behind the decisions to switch from one energy form to another. We further argue that colonialism has the coloration of a search for new forms of energy and that the wave of the current push for the transition to renewable energy (RE) in Africa is subtly related to this imperial project. We conclude that although the transition to RE is assumed to be the next big and sustainable energy source for Africa, such a transition must only be deployed after stripping it from the vestiges of colonialism that characterized previous energy transitions. This article, as a contribution to knowledge, provides a framework for a fair and just RE transition in Africa.
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