President Jokowi’s Touch in the Land of Papua (Part 2)

Trans Papua Will Bring Significant Economic Boost to West Papua

President Jokowi’s strategy in bringing the prosperity to the Papuan People has been summarized by five touches, whereas the first and the second touch has been explained in the article entitled ‘President Jokowi’s Touch in the Land of Papua (Part 1)’ This article will examine the rest touches. The third touch of President Jokowi is to create and eual management of natural resources in Papua. Fourth, formulate a comprehensive development acceleration strategy for Papua. Fifth, supporting the Governor Lukas Enembe who is currently preparing Papua as the Host of the National Sports Week

 The third touch

As part of the effort to create an equal management of natural resources in Papua, President Joko Widodo attention is concentrated on the renegotiation of Freeport Indonesia Inc. On one occasion President Jokowi once advised, “Indonesian sovereignty should be maintained in the negotiation process with Freeport Indonesia” (, 4/9/2017). We are all aware of the very high interest of the United States over Freeport Indonesia and its presence in Papua is not merely economic, but also related to the history Papua’s integration in the geopolitics of the world.

The foundation for the renegotiation of Freeport Indonesia has been laid down by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as published by Presidential Decree No. 3/2012 on the Evaluation Team for the Adjustment of Coal Mining Concessions. From 17 points requested by Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in 2013, it is finally compressed down to 6 renegotiation agendas.

Now, there is a significant progress achieved in the President Jokowi’s administration, as said by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and Minister Ignatius Jonan on August 29, 2017. There is an agreement that Freeport Indonesia Inc. agreed to divest 51% of shares to the Government of Indonesia. Freeport committed to building a smelter within 5 years until January 2022, the contract of work become a Special Mining Permit (IUPK), so Freeport Indonesia can agreed to maintain a greater state revenue which is better than the work contract regime.

The fourth touch

The fourth touch formulates a comprehensive development acceleration strategy for Papua. These accelerated development measures were actualized by President Jokowi on 11 December 2017, using a Presidential Instruction Number 9 of 2017 on the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua Province and West Papua Province. President Instruction 9/2017 is focused on the health and education sector, local economic development, basic infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and connectivity. In the process, the Government will adopt a development based on culture, the area of custom and indigenous Papua-focused, as well as communicating with all Papuan community. Thereby, with the concentration of poverty number in rural and highlands, it appears that the President Instruction 9/2017 also implements a focus on remote, around the borders and underdeveloped areas mainly in rural and highlands areas that are difficult to reach.

The fifth touch

President Jokowi determined in supporting the Governor Lukas Enembe who is currently preparing Papua as the Host of the National Sports Week (PON) Year 2020. The determination proved with the publication of Presidential Instruction No. 10 of 2017 regarding the Support on National Sports Week XX and National Paralympic Week XVI Year 2020 in Papua Province. In the Cabinet Meeting on July 19, 2017, President Jokowi emphasized the need for a law to accelerate the development of various facilities and infrastructure of National Sports Week (PON) 2020. After the discussion since late July 2019, finally, President Jokowi signed the Instruction 10/2017 on December 18, 2017. From President Jokowi point of view, “PON project venue development in Papua has a very important meaning, not just sporting Papua, but also Indonesia”. This was explained by President Jokowi when placing the first stone of the construction of the main stadium in Kampung Harapan, Jayapura, on May 9, 2015, ago. This view of the President is correlated with the expectations of Governor Lukas Enembe, who sees PON 2020 in Papua as an instrument in accelerating Papua’s development and as an approach to building the identity and pride of the Papuan people. Sport, identity, and spirit of unity being put together in one step.

Challenges and limitations

We are all aware that Papua agenda is multi-dimensional and complex. Managing Papua requires a holistic approach to fundamentally touch the root of the problem existed. Especially now the world draw attention to the dynamics of Papua from day to day. A number of issues such as Human Rights, the issue of “slow-motion genocide”, the issue of a referendum, and the issue of International Dialogue, became the agenda raised by various communities. The geopolitical situation of the world and the area that gives room for the Papua issues to rise become a challenge that requires intensified attention from the country.

Currently, the State (Executive, House of Representatives and DPD RI) facing a demand to reconstruct the Law no. 21 the year 2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua Province (and West Papua). The Parliament has included it in the list of Prolegnas 2015 – 2019, called Law on Special Autonomy for Provinces in Papua. For the internal Government, in depth study is needed to be able to address this growing aspiration.

Finally, the touch made by President Jokowi and the administration is a form of State presence in the middle of the Papuans. Step by step to flourishing Papuan’s assurance towards Republic of Indonesia.


Dr. Velix Wanggai

(Presidential Special Staff 2009-2014 concerning Provincial Development and Regional Autonomy, observer of Papua development)