Community Paradigm in the Papua Development – The Indonesian government continues to receive appreciation from the community for its success in developing Papua. The development of Papua is a part of President Joko Widodo’s Nawacita Program which wants to build Indonesia from the border.

Since taking office as a President of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has intensively made infrastructure development in Indonesia. Infrastructure development is crucial and is the foundation of a country to progress. President Jokowi explained that infrastructure could be in the form of village roads, village bridges, small ports, and airports. Infrastructure will bring us to compete and win to compete with other countries.

The acceleration of infrastructure development in the era of President Jokowi is considered successful in encouraging regional economic growth. This is because the infrastructure built makes the community’s economy lively more. An adequate infrastructure can reduce travel time, thereby speeding up logistics routes.

Infrastructure development under President Jokowi’s administration is carried out in various parts of Indonesia. Development is carried out not only in cities, but also in villages. The development is evenly distributed from west to east of Indonesia. Especially in the eastern tip of Indonesia, namely Papua, the Government of Indonesia is noted to have carried out various infrastructure developments on Earth of Cenderawasih.

The government for the last eight years has continued to develop transportation facilities and infrastructure in Cenderawasih Earth in order to accelerate the realization of inter-regional connectivity in Papua. The increase in development during President Jokowi’s administration can be seen from the construction of the Trans Papua Road, which in 2022, through the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) will build several bridges to open up regional isolation and improve connectivity between regencies or cities in Papua.

Another infrastructure development in Papua is the construction of access to PON XX with eight sports facilities, and one of them is the Papua Bangkit Stadium which has an international standard. Then the construction of the Youtefa Bridge which became the new landmark of the City of Jayapura. This bridge was built in May 2015, and was inaugurated by President Jokowi on October 28, 2019. The name Youtefa was chosen based on the request of the native people and according to its location above Youtefa Bay. Previously this bridge was named Holtekamp Bridge.

In terms of electrical energy infrastructure, the success of development in Papua can be seen from the increase in the electrification ratio. The electrification ratio is the ratio of the number of household customers who have a source of lighting either from the State Electricity Company (PLN) or non-PLN electricity with the number of households. The electrification ratio in Papua, which previously was only 30.48% in 2013, jumped to 77% in 2018. And in 2021 it will reach 94.55% of the 100% target in 2022.

The problem of poverty rate also has been declined accompanied by an increase in the quality of life for the community. Based on data, in 2013 the poverty rate in Papua reached 31.13%, and then decreased to 27.38% in 2021.

The success of development in Papua should be a standard of how much attention the Indonesian government has for the people of Papua. The general chairman of Caraka Muda Nusantara, which is the Indonesian diaspora in Turkey, Adhe Nuansa Wibisono, stated that infrastructure development in Papua, especially the construction of the Trans Papua Road, can help the process of economic growth connecting cities over there. The process of distributing goods can also become smoother and then trigger the growth of new industrial centers because economic connectivity has been built. People’s mobility increases from mountainous areas to coastal ones connected to cities and vice versa.

Adhe, who is a candidate for a doctorate from the Turkish National Police Academy, also added that President Jokowi’s government is not only building roads for the Papuan people, but also building a “mindset”. This is inseparable from what is seen that the real support provided by the government through the Education Fund Management Institution (LPDP) Scholarship of the Ministry of Finance (Kemenkeu) for the Human Resources (HR) development program is superior for indigenous Papuan sons and daughters.

LPDP is an endowment management institution to fund scholarships under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance. LPDP is a Public Service Agency (BLU) which was formed based on the Law, which in the 1945 Constitution mandates that at least 20% of the State Budget (APBN) is used for the function of Education. Based on data from the Ministry of Finance, LPDP Scholarships have been awarded to the people of Papua and West Papua. From 2013 to 2021, the LPDP Scholarship to the Papuan Community has produced 493 domestic and foreign graduates consisting of 328 Masters, 160 Doctorates, and 5 Specialist Doctors.

Regarding the maneuver of Benny Wenda, who is the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), and also claims to be the leader of the Papuan Separatist Terrorist Group (KST), seeking support from foreign parties, especially the British Parliament some time ago, Adhe as the Indonesian Diaspora also expressed his views. He said that the Indonesian Diaspora abroad needed to voice the various efforts of the Indonesian government towards the progress of development and the welfare of the Papuan people. Do not let the negative narrative that is deliberately constructed by the separatist group obscures this fact. He emphasized that Papua is an inseparable part of Indonesia, anyone who tries to separate it means disturbing Indonesia’s sovereignty.

Appreciating the steps taken by the Government of Indonesia is a form of support that we can provide as Indonesians. Development in Papua is a concrete step provided by Indonesia to Papua, because every Indonesian people have the right to enjoy the results of development, namely prosperity and well-being from the West to the East of Indonesia.

Author: Levi Raema Wenda (a Papua Observer, former journalist for local media in Papua)

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