Challenges in West Papua
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Opening up isolation, creating new jobs, alleviating poverty, carrying out more equitable development, and increasing the human development index are part of efforts to overcome challenges in West Papua Province, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) remarked here on Wednesday.
“These are the great jobs that we have to do to overcome the challenges in West Papua, and to improve the welfare of the people in the province,” President Jokowi said when chairing a limited cabinet meeting to evaluate the implementation of national strategic projects and priority programs of West Papua at his office.
Jokowi revealed that in the past two and a half years the government has set its focus on accelerating infrastructure development and improving connectivity of West Papua with other regions.
“Connectivity is necessary for West Papua, not only to open the isolated areas, but also to reduce logistics costs and improve the competitiveness of existing local products,” the president noted.
Hence, the president requested that the construction of ports,in Sorong, Bintuni, and Kaymana; the development of the ferry dock in Wasior, and the development of several airports accelerated.
“I also ask for the acceleration of the development of strategic roads connecting between the centers of economic development,” said the President.(*)
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in the two provinces. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of the region as a province of Indonesia.