Expect Cenderawasih University to serve as think tank: VP

Expect Cenderawasih University to serve as think tank: VP

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin (left). (Asdep KIP Setwapres) 

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has expressed the hope that Cenderawasih University (Uncen) would function as a think tank that works closely with the government to accelerate development in Papua and West Papua.

As a think tank, Uncen's contribution to development in the two provinces is indispensable, particularly in developing quality human resources, he said during an online meeting with the university senate's members on Tuesday.

Joining the meeting from his office, Amin appealed to the university senate's to support the Quick Wins Program for accelerating development in eastern Indonesia.

The Quick Wins Program covers seven strategic initiatives, including Smart Papua, Healthy Papua, Self-Reliant Papua, Connected Papua, Lighting Up Papua, Productive Work Papua, Proud Papua, and Green Papua, he pointed out.

Through the Connected Papua initiative, for instance, regional connectivity in Papua and West Papua could be strengthened to allow local communities greater and easier access to communication and transportation, Amin pointed out.

To strengthen regional connectivity, the government has carried out development programs, such as the Eastern Palapa Ring and the Trans-Papua road, to open new economic areas, he observed.

ANTARA has earlier reported that the Indonesian government has extended a special autonomy package to Papua and West Papua, which has paved the way for a significant volume of funds to flow into the two provinces.

The Papua special autonomy law, which has been in force for nearly two decades, will expire in November this year.

Data from the Finance Ministry indicates that during the implementation of the Papua special autonomy law, the government disbursed Rp138.65 trillion towards Papua and West Papua's special autonomy funds and additional funding for infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, regional transfer and village funds to the tune of Rp702.3 trillion were distributed by the government to the two provinces between 2002 and 2021, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo has disclosed.

Despite the central government funding, Papua and West Papua are still struggling to improve the quality of their human capital, as reflected by their scores on Indonesia's 2020 Human Development Index, which have remained under the national average of 71.94.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Papua and West Papua have scored 60.44 and 65.09, respectively, on the 2020 Human Development Index.

BPS data released in February this year has further pegged the poverty rates in Papua and West Papua at 26.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively. (INE)

Related news: VP assures development in Papua, W Papua will run smoothly
Related news: Govt offers 900 scholarships for native Papuans from poor families