How Special Autonomy Minimizes Economic Gaps in Papua

Economic Gaps in Papua
Economic Gaps in Papua

The heated debate between the importance of special autonomy funds is everywhere. This happens as the funds will need to be evaluated in order to continue after 2021 where the funds will end. While there are a lot of factors that should be considered, economic gaps in Papua is one of the important factors that has been related significantly to the funds given to Papua and West Papua so far. Therefore, indigenous Papuans have been showing their own supports as special autonomy funds should continue with extensive evaluation. Evaluation is necessary and hoped to maximize the impact that can be achieved by Papua and West Papua.

The extension of the provision is supported by the local communities and leaders. The development of people’s welfare is the key goal and it needs to be sustainable, which so far, the special autonomy law has proven its effectiveness. This is especially in minimizing economic gaps in Papua. These funds are undoubtedly necessary in order to help more Papuans live in economic welfare, especially those who are in the remote areas of Papua and West Papua.


The Government’s Strategy

Economic Gaps in Papua
Government Strategy

President Jokowi has been focusing on Papua and West Papua to ensure the prosperity of the land as well as its people. There are five strategies that the President have to manage Papua, which requires patient and commitment in order to fulfil the promise that the whole nation deserves peace and development. Papua and West Papua has been given various policy on top of the funding help as well as special treatments that only apply to Papuans.

The first strategy that the President focuses on conceptual developments, meaning that any development that is made in Papua needs to be tailored to the respective areas. Everything will go through the Ministers/Institutions so that the programs and projects are effectively done. This ensures that any type of development will take a good look at specific needs and characteristics that the particular area has, therefore resulting in more effective development. Effectivity is indeed important in the development of Papua so that the funds are managed.

The second strategy involves regional support to ensure that everything is connected. This strategy is used to tackle Papuans territory and populations to be distributed evenly, including its natural resources. The Government has created several zones on some areas that are potential to be invested and focused on as strategic areas. This includes the Special Economic Zone of Sorong, Bintuni Industrial Zone, and so on.

Managing natural resources in Papua is also listed as the third strategy of President Jokowi. It is not kept secret that Papua holds a huge amount of natural resources that are currently held by Freeport Indonesia Inc. President wants to renegotiate with the company, which has been an agenda since the previous President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The result keeps improving significantly and the company may agree to maintain greater revenue for Indonesia.

All these strategies need to be accelerated so that the development in Papua progresses even more rapidly. President Jokowi does not only focus on economic development but also health, education, as well as basic and digital infrastructure. Indigenous Papuans will be involved greatly in this strategy as everything will be customed by the area and people. This ensures that the acceleration process is done efficiently and effectively. This is hoped to result in more focus towards the remote and underdeveloped areas, including the borders.

Lastly, Governor Lukas Enembe is working together with the central government to hold National Sports Week for the year 2020. This is hoped to develop not only Papua but also Indonesia. It was planned to highlight the identity of Papuans. The pride of Papuans was going to be emphasized through this grand event. However, as the pandemic currently hits, this event is currently postponed.


These five strategies are hoped to bring prosperity into Papuans’ lives in its own land, from conceptual developments, regional support, natural resources management, acceleration to hosting the grand national sports event. However, it should be noted and understood that these agendas are complex. The existing problems need to be taken care of from the root, meaning that short fixes are not going to cut it. Not only discussing economic gaps in Papua and West Papua, but also everything that touches the important issues of various communities.

There are some issues that are important to be taken care of in these five strategies, namely Human Rights, referendum, international dialogue and other problems. Papua’s dynamic has attracted other countries and becomes global attention. The Republic of Indonesia will keep ensuring that the Papuans are flourished and assured to be developed even better than before. While the previous development has significantly resulted in positive terms, there are still a number of issues that need to be focused on in order to fulfil better development in the province.

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