Government Optimizes Development for the Prosperity of Papuan People
By : Melky Samuel Hansen )*
On April 17 2023, President Joko Widodo confirmed the government’s serious commitment to accelerating development in Papua by signing a Presidential Regulation (Perpres) concerning the 2022–2041 Papua Development Acceleration Master Plan (RIPPP).
The document explains three major development missions, namely Healthy Papua, Smart Papua and Productive Papua, which are the main foundation for accelerating development in this region which is rich in natural and cultural diversity.
Along with these steps, attention to development delays in Papua has become increasingly sharp. In response to this problem, the government chose a different approach, emphasizing culture, awareness and social aspects as the keys to success, replacing the dominant security approach so far.
Didik Suhardi, Deputy for Coordination of Mental Revolution, Cultural Advancement and Sports Achievement at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, explained that this approach is considered more effective in encouraging the development and progress of Papua.
However, the success of accelerating development does not only depend on government policy, but also involves the active role of the Papuan people. The right to develop and achieve prosperity must be felt by all Papuans.
In this context, the role of regional government is crucial, by optimizing the participation of all elements of society, especially the young Papuan generation who have high potential and capability. It is hoped that their empowerment and involvement can be the main driver in ensuring that the indigenous Papuan people are not marginalized in the development process.
In facing various challenges, such as lagging behind in development, empowering the younger generation, improving the quality of education, as well as building strong culture and awareness, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Wamendagri), John Wempi Wetipo, emphasized that equitable development is the key.
One of the concrete steps taken is through regional expansion or New Autonomous Regions (DOB). It is hoped that this step will make it easier for the government to reach remote and isolated areas in Papua.
The expansion of the region into six provinces in Papua is not just an administrative action, but is also expected to raise the dignity of indigenous Papuans.
Vice President, Ma’ruf Amin, emphasized the government’s commitment to building reliable infrastructure in Papua with the aim of reducing poverty levels, reducing the cost index, and encouraging equitable development. This effort is carried out with synergy between ministries/institutions and regional governments.
The government believes that the development of a new province in Papua will have a positive impact on public services and people’s welfare. Vice President Ma’ruf Amin even decided to have an office in Jayapura, showing the government’s real commitment to monitoring development developments in the two New Autonomous Regions (DOB) Provinces of Mountainous Papua and South Papua.
Acting Governor of Central Papua, Ribka Haluk, said that regional expansion would open up greater opportunities for local Papuan leaders and politicians to contribute to development and governance. With the increase in available positions, especially in the special autonomy (Otsus) policy, it is hoped that the welfare of the Papuan people will be achieved gradually.
Regional expansion is also expected to trigger economic progress. The expected positive domino effect includes improvements in infrastructure, particularly the construction of roads and the provision of electricity. This infrastructure development is the main key in increasing connectivity and opening accessibility to remote areas in Papua.
We see Papua not only as a geographical region, but also as a laboratory of progress and prosperity. The journey to accelerate Papua’s development is proof that behind the thick forests and natural beauty of Papua, there is a strong determination to improve the welfare of the community.
This journey also changed the development paradigm. From the dominant security approach, we see that culture, awareness and social aspects are the main foundation. The government understands that Papua not only needs physical development, but also inner transformation and strong local values.
Papua’s young generation is the main pillar in realizing this dream. Through their empowerment and involvement, we not only witness infrastructure development, but also see the growth of future leaders who love and fight for Papua.
Regional expansion is a concrete step to achieve equitable development. In expanding into six provinces, the government gave a strong signal that Papua must be seen as a heterogeneous unit, with each part having equal rights to develop.
Papua has equal rights with other regions in Indonesia to develop, and in the spirit of unity, must achieve progress in line with the national development vision. It is hoped that all stakeholders, both central and regional governments, together with the Papuan people themselves, can unite to realize a common dream, namely a Papua that is advanced, prosperous and full of hope.
This responsibility is not only on the shoulders of the government, but is also determined by the determination and real action of Papuan youth who have great potential to develop their own homeland. Success in achieving this common goal lies in togetherness and synergy between all parties involved.
A bright future for Papua as part of the Republic of Indonesia, and its people, is not just a dream, but a goal that can be realized with hands united in togetherness.
)* The author is a Papuan student living in Kupang