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Having passed a new budget, the government last week started paying its debts to electric power providers, which should make Ugandan nights a little brighter in the short term, though probably not in the long term.

The country’s demand for electricity is outstripping its supply by about 50 megawatts a year, according to officials with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Co., whose role is to dispatch available electricity to suppliers.

Nonetheless, the move is in keeping with the president’s understanding of development, based on remarks he made in April.

“You cannot modernize unless you have electricity,” Mr. Museveni said at the time.