Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | 04:41 WIB

Demographic bonus fuels Jokowi’s program under Prabowo-Gibran

Jakarta, IO – What is actually meant by the much-heralded “demographic bonus”? While the term has become a buzzword, what are the meanings, conditions, and consequences behind it? 

Let us take a quick look at the Indonesian population pyramid. The current shape is plumper at the bottom, meaning that, in reality, Indonesia’s demography is populated by toddlers and (elementary school, middle school, high school and university) students. It means more of the population pyramid depends on a baby-boomer generation). 

However, from 2030 to 2050, the pyramid shape will transform, with the middle part as the fattest. That indicates that Indonesia’s productive age population, citizens from 20 to 65 years old, will be greater in number than toddlers and students. 

So, how is “productive” defined in this context? It means that those people will contribute significantly to Indonesia’s Gross National Productivity (GNP) through their work and innovation. In short, through their diligent efforts. 

The time is drawing close. It has become urgent! To reach 2045 means only 20 years is left. It also means that today’s toddlers must be prepared to absorb adoptive knowledge and must be adaptive to the changes and challenges of their time. Stunting must be eradicated. 

Therefore, the current generation must have sufficient nutritional intake, health insurance and education, because those are the essential requirements to guarantee that a “demographic bonus” can contribute positively to national productivity, instead of a demographic disaster, which becomes a liability for GNP. 

Andre Vincent Wenas
Andre Vincent Wenas, Observer of political-economic issues

This is why a free nutritious food program for children and expectant mothers has become an urgent issue. Indonesian human development begins from the moment a baby is in the mother’s womb and requires education that liberates, as proposed by Paulo Freire. 

The twin of economic development is economic equality. The principle of social justice for all Indonesian people (the fifth principle of Pancasila) must go hand-in-hand with prosperity. Development and equality are two sides of the same coin. 

The center of all development programs is the Indonesian people. The people are the core. As an illustration, Indonesia’s current demography is around 279 million, but 158 million or 56.5% of those inhabitants live on the island of Java. The density is unthinkable, especially in the Jabodetabek (Greater Jakarta: Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi) area. 

Meanwhile, 60.5 million people, or 21.7% are on the island of Sumatra. Around 20.3 million people or 7.3% reside on Sulawesi Island and 16.7 million people or 6.0% in Kalimantan. Furthermore, around 13.9 million people, or 5.5% live on the islands of Bali and Nusa Tenggara, while only 7.5 million, or 2.7% live on Maluku and Papua islands. 

The above statistical sketch of population illustrates how unevenly-distributed the population in Indonesia is. Economically, this impacts the concentration of development programs that have been Java-centric. Other regions, meanwhile, could be said to be left behind if not neglected. 

From the logic of economics, it is quite understandable, because economics or “oikos-nomos” is the science of household management for the people. The assumption is that the greater the number of people, the higher the intensity of economic activity. This is logical, economically speaking. 

However, does “development sustainability” only consider economic aspects? Absolutely not. As demonstrated by President Jokowi during his leadership, equitable development should also be prioritized across the Indonesian archipelago. 

In Jokowi’s leadership era, the realization of equitable development across Indonesia can be genuinely felt. A number of dams were constructed, to support agriculture and control floods. Road construction (including toll roads) has opened up access to areas that were formerly isolated. The modernization of railways, harbors and airports allows interconnectivity that can make the economy more efficient. Also, remember the restoration of border posts, which has made us proud. 

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Finally, this all correlates with Prabowo-Gibran’s work program, the Asta-Cita, especially the Sixth Part: Promoting development from the villages and the grassroots level, to achieve economic equality and eradicate poverty, and also in Point Fourteen: Continuing the construction of the new Capital City (IKN) in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. 

IKN is no longer a theoretical discourse but an ongoing project for equitable development and a solution to ecological threats in Jakarta, which experts have highlighted. 

The year 2045 has been declared as “Golden Indonesia”. Waste no more time. The time is approaching fast. Not to mention that on August 17, 2024, the commemoration of Indonesia’s Independence Day will be held in IKN.