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Joko Widodo for West Papua: 4 Changes and Developments for the Region

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The current president of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo, has been earnestly working on West Papua’s infrastructures. During his first term as the president in 2014 until 2023, Mr. Joko Widodo visited the region 19 times to check and see the performance of every big project in progress. Then, he visited West Papua at least two times in his second term. During these visits, besides checking the progress of the existing projects, he also observed areas that require further expansion or development. These are some of the development of infrastructures ordered by Joko Widodo for West Papua.

Joko Widodo for West Papua: 4 Changes and Developments for the Region

1.     Bulding the Palapa Ring

The project Palapa Ring refers to the national telecommunications infrastructure in the form of fiber optic which was developed throughout Indonesia. It has seven small fiber optic loops divided into Sumatra, Java, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua. Thus, the project is divided into there based on the location of each region. They are West Palapa Ring, Central Palapa Ring, and East Palapa Ring. One backhaul will connect these optical fibers together. In addition, the optical fibers have a total length of 36,000 kilometers.

This project will integrate the existing network with a new one in the eastern part of Indonesia such as West Papua and Papua. The government will build the East Palapa Ring stretching up to 4,450 kilometers (3,850 kilometers for the sub-marine optical fibers and 600 kilometers for land optical fibers). In the present day, this development has reached 12.148 kilometers throughout Indonesia with 7,862 kilometers of optical fibers built under the sea.

The construction of the Palapa Ring aims to provide an affordable and fast internet connection to the local people and to even the distribution of telecommunication networks in every remote area of Indonesia. This network will be the solid foundation of all services related to telecommunications by operators and users in Indonesia. In addition, the project can reinforce the economic growth of the region since it provides a large capacity for a safe and affordable telecommunication network.

2.     Infrastructure Development in Papua

Since leading Indonesia in 2014, President Joko Widodo’s government has allocated Rp. 1,036 trillion for infrastructure development in Papua, or the largest in Indonesian history. Infrastructure that has been built in Papua includes the 3,462 kilometer Trans-Papua road, the 1,098 kilometer Papua-PNG border road, the 1.3 kilometer Youtefa Bridge in Jayapura, the construction of National Border Posts (PLBN) in Skouw, Sota and Yetetkun, construction of the Papua Youth Creative Hub (PYCH) in Jayapura City, construction of the Thumburuni Market in Fakfak Ragency, revitalization of the Lukas Enembe Football Stadium (Papua Bangkit) in Jayapura Regency, as well as revitalization of airports, namely Ewer Airport (Asmat Regency), Siboru Airport (Fakfak Regency) and Domine Eduard Osok Airport (Sorong Regency). This infrastructure development is a commitment by President Joko Widodo’s government to carry out equitable development based on the “Indonesiacentric” concept.

3.     Implementing the One Price Fuel Policy

Mr. Joko Widodo has applied the One Price Fuel policy to realize an even energy distribution in Indonesia, especially for 3T areas. 3T stands for tertinggal (underdeveloped), terdepan(foremost), and terluar (outermost). Previously, people in these areas could not afford the high price of fuel. Thus, Mr. President issued this policy to make standardization of fuel prices so that people can buy and use fuel at affordable prices.

The two infrastructure developments ordered by Joko Widodo for West Papua have helped the local community to enjoy a great and clean public infrastructure. Meanwhile, the one-price fuel policy has made it possible to facilitate the people and region’s economic activities.

 4.     Pemekaran Tanah Papua Menjadi Enam Provinsi


At the end of 2022, the Government of Indonesia and the People’s Representative Council (DPR RI) passed a law regarding the formation of South Papua Province (Merauke), Central Papua Province (Nabire), Mountain Papua Province (Jayawijaya) and Southwest Papua Province (Sorong). Formation of these new provinces, Papua now has six provinces (previously two provinces, namely Papua Province with the capital in Jayapura and West Papua Province with the capital in Manokwari) and Indonesia now has 38 provinces (previously 34 provinces). The formation of the four new provinces aims to accelerate equitable development and prosperity, as well as improve social services to the community. Apart from that, the formation of the province was based on the division of seven traditional territories in Papua, namely Mamta, Saereri, Anim Ha, La Pago, Mee Pago, Domberai and Bomberai.

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