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Accelerating Papua’s Development Effectively Maintains Positive Momentum for Economic Growth

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By: Deva Baruna

The government continues to be committed to realizing reliable infrastructure development in Papua. This aims to reduce the poverty rate, reduce the cost index, and equalize infrastructure development throughout Indonesia while maintaining the momentum of economic growth which continues to show a positive trend. Connectivity between regions in Papua will continue to be connected so that isolation can be reduced. So, the community will get a domino effect from this infrastructure development. Starting from reducing logistics costs, developing local commodity products, as well as health services for the community.

The government under President Jokowi has shown seriousness in developing Papuan infrastructure. If the infrastructure has been built, it is hoped that the distance between regions in Papua and provincial government offices and the people will be closer.

An area does need adequate infrastructure and transportation to be able to reach other areas easily. Such as roads, airports and ports are the most important mobility for carrying out buying and selling activities. This activity can certainly help increase regional economic income.

The Acting Governor of Papua, Ridwan Rudalamun, stated that development in Papua Province would have a very positive impact on the community. He said that data for the third quarter of 2023 showed economic growth of 8.28%, exceeding the national average of 4.94%. Apart from that, the Human Development Index (HDI) for Papua Province has also experienced a significant increase, reaching 61.39 in 2022.

The aim of developing Papua’s infrastructure is also to reduce administration, improve health services and educational facilities. With equitable development, society will become more advanced. As a result, the welfare of the Papuan people will increase and investment will continue to come. Papua will become a developed, prosperous and equal region like the island of Java and other areas.

The government has created a Master Plan for the Acceleration of Papua Development (RIPPP) for 2022–2041, and there are three major missions for Papua’s development, namely Healthy Papua, Smart Papua, and Productive Papua. So, the government’s focus will be on developing the education, health and community economy sectors which require basic infrastructure, namely roads, bridges, airports and ports. Papua’s development action plan has been contained in the RIPPP for the next 20 years, and it must be elaborated by the regional government through concrete and targeted activities.

Deputy Chair 1 of the Biak Numfor Regency DPRD, Papua, Adrianus Mambobo, said that the massive infrastructure development in Papua is expected to improve welfare in isolated areas. So, benefits can be obtained by all people in Papua. Connectivity between regions is important to improve and accelerate, especially for education, community mobility and information.

Apart from facilitating people’s mobility, infrastructure also helps the Papuan people’s economy. If there are representative roads and bridges, then there is a means to integrate between regions. Especially in areas that are producers (such as processed sago and other agricultural products), and it will be easy to distribute them to other cities or districts. As a result, the community’s economy will improve.

If mobility is faster, it will save time and costs because people choose to send goods and travel via land. They are slowly abandoning transportation via airplane, which is much more expensive. The longer the Trans Papua road infrastructure, the more people will benefit because shipping costs will be lower so the price of goods can be reduced.

Massive infrastructure development in Papua will make the region as developed and prosperous as on the island of Java and other areas. Alignment of road infrastructure development with improvements in basic services of education, health and electricity supply will make the Government’s programs and vision and mission effective for the prosperity of Papua. The appropriateness of the type of connectivity infrastructure to the characteristics of the region and the movement of the people is implemented in the form of development/innovation of water and air infrastructure. So, development in Papua does not just look at achieving numbers as a legacy, but optimizes all aspects as part of meeting the needs of the Papuan people.

In an effort to realize this, the development of the Papuan people needs to be supported by increasing access to basic infrastructure and connectivity, environmental quality, good development governance, as well as paying attention to customary land, culture and social harmony as prerequisites for successfully achieving development targets. Apart from that, by looking at the changes and dynamics of development, efforts to accelerate development in Papua will pay attention to gender mainstreaming , social culture, digital transformation, as well as disaster resilience and climate change as forms of innovative and adaptive development, so that they can become catalysts in order to achieve targets. development

So it can be concluded that the acceleration of infrastructure development in Papua has succeeded in maintaining the momentum of economic growth and has even been able to open up new job opportunities. In this way, we are optimistic that life there will be better and the people will be prosperous. The government’s seriousness in building infrastructure will be able to achieve justice for all Indonesian people, especially Papua, which is currently receiving serious attention from the government.

The author is a student at Pelita Harapan University, Tangerang

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