Information Technology Development is a crucial factor in fostering economic growth. It is also needed to develop more accessible knowledge for every level of society. The role of this development is imperative. Without technological development, a region might face a decline in the people’s standard of living.
Technology exists to ease people’s life. We can communicate with relatives regardless of distance. We can access free knowledge or information to improve our perspective on issues. Limited technological sophistication in West Papua industries could negatively affect the local community.
The world has shifted to focus on the IT industry, including businesses using IT services, online business or e-commerce, and Hardware and Software products. Developing technological infrastructure helps people to store, learn, and exchange information.
The local people do not possess the required skills to use these services to be able to create beneficial job opportunities or utilize natural resources. So, what has changed in West Papua due to technological development?
The Transformation of West Papua Because of Information Technology Development
Let’s take a look at several transformations within the province to open its growth potential.
1. Increasing the Productivity of the Agricultural Sector in West Papua
The local and national governments believe West Papua to have great potential in the agricultural sector. The province could be a significant producer of several agricultural commodities such as corn, paddy or rice, soybean, peanut, green bean, cassava, and sweet potato. The province has 11,000 hectares of corn plantations and 7 million hectares of food crops.
To increase the productivity of the agricultural sector, the government has given its support. They encouraged the people to utilize some agricultural technology by having the necessary pieces of training and providing access to capital for irrigation businesses.
This effort is essential to maximize the province’s agricultural potential and production capacity. Thus, it could create food security for the people.
2. Optimizing Telecommunications Infrastructure Development
Information Technology Development, such as base transceiver station (BTS), is significant in supporting the optimization of West Papua’s digital transformation. The government has planned to create fair and equitable access to information for many regions in Indonesia, including West Papua.
To realize this process, several infrastructures of 4G networks of the BTS Project (Lagged, Frontier, and Outermost) have been made. This project aims to support the improvement of technology-based microeconomic actors and activities.
In addition, the event of Pekan Olahraga Nasional (PON), or National Sports Week, in Papua reinforced the development of information technology and communication.
The government strengthened the existing network to accelerate digital communication growth in the region. They have built a new underwater route of 4,000 meters in Jayapura City for smooth and quick internet connectivity.
3. Accelerating Digital Literacy for the Younger Generation
After optimizing telecommunications infrastructure development, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia (Kominfo) encouraged the younger generation of West Papua to engage in Digital Literacy Program in 2022. The program aims to build awareness and advance the intelligence of the local community in using digital literacy.
They wanted the people, especially members of the younger generation, to use the internet positively and creatively. Thus, digital literacy can aid them in improving their cognitive abilities in understanding news, hoaxes, and the negative impacts of the cyber world. The program includes many activities such as webinars, festivals, seminars, public discussions, etc.
Information Technology Development is, without a doubt, a vital aspect of facilitating and promoting West Papua’s economic growth and the Papuans’ cognitive functions. Through this development, education and food security can be achieved in the province.