Numerous influential figures from Papua and West Papua have given contributions to Indonesia, and one of them is Michael Manufandu. This man has established brilliant leadership skills during his services as subdistrict head and Mayor of Jayapura. He has managed contributions to Indonesia in politics and the development of education. Here is some information to follow.
From Papua, for Papua
If we’re looking for figures born in Papua and have established great contributions for Papua and Indonesia, Michael Manufandu could be one of the names to mention. Manufandu was born in Biak on November 9, 1947. He took a master’s study at the University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia, and pursued higher study for doctorate studies at the same university.
After studying, Michael Manufandu developed his political career as Head of one of the subdistricts in Papua. His career continued until he was appointed Mayor of Jayapura, Papua. Manufandu ever became a lecturer at Cenderawasih University before returning to be the Director of Marine Law and Assistant of Minister. He was also given responsibility as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Columbia, South America, from 2008 to 2011.
His Leadership in Jayapura
The first mayor of Jayapura named Drs. Florens Imbiri served from 1979 to 1989. The mayor was later replaced by Drs. Michael Manufandu, M.A. as the second Mayor of Jayapura. Manufandu served as mayor for the period from 1989 to 1993. In the following year, he was succeeded by Drs. R. Roemantyo, who actively served from 1994 to 1999.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Columbia
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed Michael Manufandu as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Columbia, South America. He became the ambassador from April 8, 2008, to replace Setijanto Peodjowarsito, who had previously taken charge from June 12, 2003, to October 16, 2005. He was appointed by Megawati Soekarnoputri and replaced by Meity S. Ichwanu in chargé d’affaires status on October 18, 2005.
Ambassador Manufandu finished his service as the ambassador in August 2011. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed Trie Edi Mulyani to start her service as the official representative of Indonesia to Columbia from September 3, 2012, to January 2017, replacing him.
His Idea about Papua’s Potential
Born in Papua, Michael Manufandu, who has successfully taken part in the world of politics and education in Indonesia, often shares his experiences and views on Papua. Geographically, the territory of Papua stretches wide, full of valleys, mountains, and slopes, so one village might be far from one another. This, in his opinion, creates cultural isolation leading to a lack of societal progress.
Manufandu assessed that the special autonomy law for Papua proclaimed by President Abdurrahman Wahid had succeeded in making major changes even though it took a long time. The government’s policy provides policies that basically want to protect safety and social welfare while preserving Papuan culture. In addition, it also provides freedom in regional leadership, so there will be no alienation and people can start participating in various political, social, and other activities.
Supporting Education in Papua
Apart from contributing to politics, Michael Manufandu is also actively involved in advancing education in Papua. He becomes a Senior Advisor to P.T. Freeport Indonesia. He has been involved in educational activities, including Community College Initiative (CCI) program collaborated with the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF) since 1998.
P.T. Freeport Indonesia granted full scholarships to four Papuan children to continue their studies in the United States. They were Junus Marthin Albertho Kbarek, Nur Hayyu Supriatin, Natalius Fillep Marani, and Mici Eka Wontini Maniagasi. The four awardees studied for two semesters at a number of community colleges in the United States with different fields of study.
Manufandu underlines that scholarship is a golden opportunity for young Papuans. The scholarship is to facilitate them for academic development and hone their leadership skills. It’s important to know that quality education is one of the prominent factors in social welfare standards and development in West Papua and Papua.