The rapid rise of technology and internet use in Indonesia will be the key theme of discussion at a conference which will involve senior Indonesians such as Yanuar Nugroho of the Executive Office of the President, Former Indonesian Finance Minister Dr Muhamad Chatib Basri, and former Indonesian Minister for Trade Professor Mari Pangestu.
Business leaders, academics and policymakers will also be involved in the 2016 Indonesia Update at The Australian National University (ANU).
Conference convenor Dr Ross Tapsell said Indonesia, one of Australia’s closest neighbours, is increasingly becoming a digital nation.
“Indonesia is a young nation with a median age of 28 and a rapidly growing urban middle class,” Dr Tapsell said.
“There are 64 million Indonesians with a Facebook account, the fourth highest in the world, while Jakarta has been named the world’s most active city on Twitter.”
While Dr Tapsell thinks digital technology can help build a stable, prosperous, democratic Indonesia, he has also warned of a large digital divide in the nation.
“In Indonesia there still remains great disparity. Less than 40 per cent of Papuans own a mobile phone, compared with an estimated 97 per cent of Jakartans,” he said.
“Bridging the digital divide remains a huge challenge for the Indonesian government, but if done successfully, will have a profound impact,” Dr Tapsell said.
The 2016 Indonesia Update will address urgent questions surrounding digital Indonesia.
Key speakers include:
- Yanuar Nugroho, Executive Office of the President, The Republic of Indonesia
- Dr Ross Tapsell, ANU
- Professor Mari Pangestu, former Indonesian Minister for Trade, and Former Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy
- Former Indonesian Finance Minister Dr Muhamad Chatib Basri
- Nava Nuraniyah, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Jakarta
- Martin Slama, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
- Diastika Rahwidiati, United Nations Pulse Lab, Jakarta
The Indonesia Update will be hosted by the ANU Indonesia Project, a leading international centre of research and graduate training on the society and economy of Indonesia.