Indonesia’s seriousness in developing Papua is not only proven by the existence of infrastructure development that can help improve Papua’s economy, it is also proven by the development of supporting infrastructure that can drive the economy forward as well as beautify cities in Papua. One of an exciting site built by the Indonesian Government is Avengers Headquarters in Merauke or the Time Capsule Monument. A monument built on an area of 2.5 hectares (ha) and has become a new icon in eastern Indonesia.
The idea of building the Avengers Headquarters to store Time Capsules came from President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on the 70th Anniversary of Indonesian Independence in 2015. The Time Capsule Monument which contains dreams of Indonesian children from Sabang to Merauke, and will continue to open in the next 70 years up to 2085. The time capsule is carried by relay starting from Aceh to all provinces and ending in Merauke, Papua.
Another site is Youtefa Bridge which is Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco duplicate. This Bridge has a total length of 11.6 kilometres consisting of 433 metres center span, 900 metres bridge approaching Youtefa side, 320 metres approaching the road Hamadi side, and 9,950 metres access road. The completion of this bridge in the end has shorten the distance from Jayapura City to Muara Tami District and Skouw State Border Post (PLBN). The bridge also boosts economic growth in borderland for both countries Indonesia and PNG.
Another interesting icon is Indonesian Silicon Valley in Papua or Papuan Youth Creative Hub which was initiated by Billy Mambrasar, a young Papuan entrepreneur. Papuan Youth Creative Hub will encourage more Papuan children to develop their creativity in business or social movements. Since its launch in September 2019, 265 people have registered to as members, all of them from Papua region. In the development canter, various self-development activities will be held, to complement the business skills mentioned above, including communication, leadership, and management basics. With the construction of the Papuan Youth Creative Hub, this center will be built in 7 places so that unicorn and decacorn start-ups can be born from Papua.
Those icons are shown that the Indonesian Government very concern about building a better Papua. According to ceposonline.com Since Papua has become part of Indonesia, the growth and development in Papua are currently progressing in various sectors. As in the Human Development Index (HDI) in Papua, it is in the Medium category with a growth of 1.64% from 2017–2018, assisted by the economic growth of 5.4% since the end of 2018 (the fastest growth compared to other Pacific countries). One of the advances is in the Human Rights sector. Post-1998 reform has provided fresh air for Indonesia, especially in Papua. Now, Papua is at the top in the Pacific nation with a total of 67 universities. There are 60 hospitals built in Papua, this number is also higher than in other provinces in eastern Indonesia.
After observing what the Indonesian Government is doing for Papua, I think that the better step is for Papuans to become part of Indonesia. It will bring a lot of benefits, prosperity, and a brighter future for Papuan youths chasing their dream. In my point of view as a Ni-Vanuatu, I concluded that the economic growth in Papua is also an opportunity for other Pacific Island countries to make more cooperation with Indonesia because the bonding will bring more development and prosperity to the Pacific.