The development of Papua can be seen from the portrait of the challenges and journey of Papua sometime ago. It is in line with seeing Papua in the context of new policies issued by the state in handling conflicts. One of the criticisms that emerged from Papua citizens was that on the one hand, they felt that the special autonomy (otsus) had been optimal. On the other hand, most of them stated that otsus had failed and was not effective in solving problems in Papua. It was noted by Dr. Velix Bernando Wanggai, S.IP., MPA, in a webinar themed “Future of Papua: Papuan Perspective Series II”, Saturday (30/10).
Dr. Velix continued to notice that the future of Papua is undoubtedly faced with several situations and future trends, such as a surge in the demographics of the younger generation, people’s new lifestyles, increasingly diverse ethnicity, and ethics, urbanization, and new small and medium-sized cities that were emerging. “We can also see how the competence growth of the Papuan people can be taken over by the role of universities,” he concluded.
The Expert Staff of the Minister of National Development Planning for Development continued other issues that need to be considered. They are the emergence of a new province, regional economy and fiscal independence, the potential of natural resources in Papua, global technological trends, Papua’s forests as the “the heart of Indonesia”, sustainable economic impacts, and geopolitics changes and national borders. “The important thing is how we plan for Papua development in the next 20 years. We put it in the master plan for the acceleration of the development of Papua and West Papua,” he explained. He reminded that the development of Papua needs to be accompanied by supporting indicators to form a Papuan personality that is rising, fair, peaceful, and prosperous in 2022-2042.
On the same occasion, Dian Wasaraka, as the second resource person, thought that when discussing the future of Papua, it was not far from the role of youth. Papuan statistical data for 2020 explained that Papua is currently dominated by generations Y, Z, and alpha. “Our research shows that Generation X and Y play an active role in social media because they have the resources, tools, and money. While generation Z is more of an active follower in sharing content and sharing without even thinking. Then the alpha generation becomes an active consumer generation,” he explained. The thing that should be considered is how the younger generation of Papua can respond to the spread of unsupported content and hoax content that will damage the identity of Papuan youth.
It will be a matter of concern when in the next 20 years, including the issues regarding backwardness, structural and gender violence, and Papuan human resources need to be considered and continue to be discussed. Dian suggested the need for intensified digital literacy and a living environment and space for children to grow. He underlined the need for adaptation and competition, which are crucial issues and must be intensified—transformation to facilitate knowledge in digital literacy. Meanwhile, competition is to increase Papua’s superiority and self-esteem. “When we are only given constant pity, we will only become champions at home. But when we are given adaptation, recognition, and allowed to compete, we will definitely show our best abilities,” he said.  Diktilitbang