Government Determined to Accelerate Development of Papua
Papua as an integral part of Indonesia has become a significant focus of development in the era of President Joko Widodo’s administration. Since the beginning of his leadership, development efforts in Papua have undergone a striking transformation, not only in the infrastructure sector, but also in efforts to preserve culture and empower local communities.
One of the key aspects of development in Papua is infrastructure development. The government has demonstrated its strong commitment to accelerating development in this area by prioritizing vital infrastructure projects. The construction of roads, airports and ports has opened up accessibility to remote areas, allowing for economic growth and more efficient distribution of goods and services. This step not only reduces the gap between Papua and other regions in Indonesia but also provides a positive impetus for the welfare of the Papuan people.
The Steering Committee for the Acceleration of Development of Special Autonomy for Papua (BP3OKP) is committed to accelerating development in Papua by conducting outreach and accommodating strategic programs for each region. Chairman of BP3OKP Papua, Alberth Yoku, said that his party had held a meeting with the Keerom Regency Government (Pemkab) to ask what local government programs were included in the national strategic program. Because BP3OKP’s task is to synchronize, evaluate and coordinate specifically the Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBD) and development planning which has been synchronized with the Special Autonomy Development Acceleration Master Plan (RIPP) for Papua.
Yoku assessed that, after socializing BP3OKP’s duties in Keerom Regency, his party would continue to Biak, Numfor, Yepen, Waropen and Memberamo Raya Regencies in 2024. This was done to see how the regions were able to implement several large programs that went beyond the APBD. Yoku explained that regional strategic programs that have been included in the national strategic program are expected to ensure that regional heads continue to hold meetings with the leaders of the relevant Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD). So that planning has really been determined so that it is synchronized with the national strategic program. Thus, all strategic programs in areas in Papua can be conveyed in meetings with the Chairman of BP3OKP Ma’ruf Amin and the relevant ministries so that decisions can be taken immediately on further handling.
Meanwhile, Keerom Regent Piter Gusbager said that BP3OKP’s visit was a series of the big theme of Special Autonomy (Otsus) volume II which focuses on improving the welfare of the Papuan people. This is a mandate that must be implemented, so regional officials must strengthen the duties of BP3OKP to jointly synchronize programs sourced from both the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN) and APBD.
In order to support the acceleration of development in Papua, the government has even issued Presidential Regulation Number 24 of 2023 concerning the master plan for accelerating development in Papua for the next 20 years. After the 2024 elections, the agenda for building sustainable peace steps will be carried out more intensively, including building a lot of dialogue with social nodes.
Apart from that, the government is also focusing on improving basic services, such as education and health in Papua. Increasing the accessibility of education and health facilities has improved the standard of living of local communities. The scholarship program and improving the quality of teachers in Papua are concrete steps in ensuring that Papuan children have equal opportunities with children in other regions in Indonesia.
However, development in Papua is not only limited to physical and economic aspects. The government also pays special attention to the preservation of culture and the rights of indigenous peoples. Sustainable development in Papua is followed by policies that ensure the active involvement of local communities in decision making regarding natural resources and their environment. Empowering indigenous communities is the main basis, recognizing their rights to own and manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.
The importance of cultural preservation is recognized by the Jokowi government by supporting local initiatives to preserve Papuan traditions and languages. This effort not only strengthens Papuan cultural identity but also respects the diversity of Indonesia as a whole. The government realizes that there is uniqueness in various regions so there is no general or general policy, but must be more specific.
This is also the case in Papua, which is what makes the government consider policies in the context of coastal areas, policies in border areas and policies in mountainous areas. Because, typical communities, lifestyle patterns, local leadership patterns, land ownership patterns are different so the development approaches taken must also be different.
Despite positive achievements in Papua’s development, challenges remain. Horizontal conflicts, cultural differences and economic inequality are still obstacles that need to be seriously overcome. Meanwhile, in the context of regional mapping, the challenges faced are large areas, quite difficult geographical conditions, and the population is spread unevenly. Therefore, the government continues to be committed to listening to the aspirations of the Papuan people, improving governance, and ensuring that development is sustainable without harming local interests.
By involving the active participation of the Papuan people in the development process, the government can ensure that Papua’s transformation not only creates economic growth but also builds a solid foundation for sustainability, justice and harmony in the region.