Dear Hon. Zito, I clearly see the point in the arguments you have put forward to support the idea of buying Dowans turbines. I am fully convinced that you are absolutely right. But I just want to remind you one thing.
To make an economic decision we need to carryout analysis. Based on the level of subjectivity we have two main types of analyses; positive and normative analysis. The difference between the two is that positive analysis is based on empirical reasoning while normative analysis introduces subjectivity in the reasoning. In other words, positive economics deals with “what is” whereas normative economics addresses the issue of “what ought to be”. Both are important.
I will give you an example to make myself clear. Suppose you secure a consultancy work from the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to investigate and recommend the way to curb the problem of protein deficiency in Zanzibar. As an economist, you carry out cost-benefit analysis for different type of protein sources, and realise that the protein that can be made available at affordable cost for the majority of Zanzibaris is pork. Up to this point what you have carried out is positive economic analysis. Now the issue is whether you could go ahead and recommend this to the government for implementation! Having taken into consideration of values and norms of the Zanzibar society you may be forced to opt for the second best alternative source of protein. When you do that you have carried out normative analysis.
The same applies to the Dowans saga. Mh. Zito, you have done your homework well on the positive analysis side. It is now time to take on board normative aspects in the analysis, i.e. the dubious environment surrounding the Richmond/Dowans drama and the negative feelings people have on it.
On this background Mh. I advise you to forfeit the idea of buying these turbines and opt for the next best alternative.
Dr. Damian M. Gabagambi
LecturerSokoine University of Agriculture Department of Agricultural Economics and agribusiness P.O.Box 3007 Morogoro - Tanzania
Tel: (+255 232) 603415 (Office)
Mob: (+255 744) 501541
Fax: (+255 232) 600968 (Office)