There have been a lot of changes in West Papua under Jokowi’s leadership. During their administration, Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla (Indonesian President and Vice President) declared that provinces in Papua Island to become the centers of infrastructure development. They wished for this development to strengthen and hasten the economic growth of the regions. Now, let’s learn about the significant changes in the province.
The Development of West Papua under Jokowi’s Leadership
Connecting Several Regions with the Construction of Trans Papua Roads
Jokowi has proposed a plan to connect several regions in Papua island by constructing trans-Papua roads. The development of the road has reached a length of 3,446 kilometers, reported last year. The road’s length is four times longer than the one in Jakarta-Surabaya.
This road will become the backbone that supports the regional economic growth between Papua Province, Jayapura City, and Wamena City. Furthermore, better access to several regions can save the Papuans more natural resources, national energy reserves, and support production centers.
This year, the government keeps on continuing the trans road project. The parties involved auctioned the project in November. The project will proceed using the government and Business Entity cooperation and payment return on an investment scheme.
Constructing the Youtefa Bridge
Youtefa Bridge, previously Holtekamp Bridge, connects Holtekamp in Muara Tami District, Jayapura City, with Hamadi District in South Jayapura. The bridge has a total length of 11,6 kilometers. The bridge was built by the joint effort of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing through the Directorate General of Highways.
Youtefa Bridge is a historical milestone in realizing Jokowi’s and Jusuf Kalla’s Nawacita (development priorities of rural areas under their rule). They wish for the bridge to be an iconic symbol of Papua. Another benefit of the bridge development is that the local community can shorten the travel time (90 minutes to 45 minutes) from Jayapura City to Muara Tami District.
Developing 10 New Airports for Better Tourist Access
West Papua under Jokowi’s leadership have developed or expanded several main airports in West Papua and Papua Provinces to give better access to tourists. They also wanted the new airports to be able to handle many commercial flights to arrive directly in the provinces.
The 10 new airports, 6 in Papua Province and 4 in West Papua Province, are Kepi Airport, Ewer Airport, Oksibil Airport, Ilaga Airport, Nabire Baru Airport, Mopah Airport, Waisai Raja Ampat Airport, Rendani Manokwari Airport, Siboru Fak-fak New Airport, and Wasior Baru Airport. This development supported the success of National Sports Week (PON) in 2020. In addition, the government wanted this development to aid the people and improve logistics efficiency.
Enhancing Human Resources through Education
To support and enhance human resources development, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing has created 179 schools, religious institutions, sports facilities, and public universities in Papua. In addition, the government has provided necessary classes of construction service training for the Papuan people.
The president also insisted on opening 1,000 job opportunities for the local community who recently graduated from college in the province. These youths will join some State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in the Region. Lastly, Jokowi provided scholarship opportunities to 1,000 students in Papua to earn better education in Indonesia or abroad.
The changes in West Papua under Jokowi’s leadership have helped the local community to get better access to public infrastructure and education. Furthermore, these significant developments could reinforce the provinces’ economic growth as Papua island is famous for its tourism destinations. Other changes not explained in this article include the construction of the Papuan Youth Creative Hub, 6 new seaports, the Wouma market in Wamena, Papua Bangkit stadium, etc.