Thu, 30 Aug 2001

Germany sponsors Yogya urban renewal programs

YOGYAKARTA (JP): A German-sponsored program aimed at improving the quality of urban infrastructure and communities in 26 cities and regencies in four provinces in Indonesia was launched here on Tuesday.

Chief of Urban Development of GTZ-Indonesia Gerd Sippel told a media conference at Yogyakarta Hyatt Regency Hotel that the program, termed the Urban Quality Program, would have as its priority developing the quality of public services, with an emphasis on the participation and cooperation of urban communities between one city and the others.

Sippel also underlined the important role of regional administrations in the efforts to enable local people to participate in the development programs.

"We've seen in many parts of the world how important the local governments' role are in enabling people to function in development programs," he said.

The US$5.5 million program, which involves 26 mayoralties and regencies in the province of Yogyakarta, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), and Central Java, is run by German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in cooperation with central government, the four provinces, and 26 mayoralties and regencies. The central government is also participating in financing the program, with financial support of $1.5 million.

The first stage of the program is scheduled to end in 2004.

Governors of the four provinces, as well as heads of the 26 mayoralties and regencies, attended the launch ceremony of the program.

Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy Hans Hamann underlined that the program would be in accordance with the government's wish to implement regional autonomy, as the most important priority of the program was how to empower local people in the decision-making processes of the local governments.

Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X said in his address that the quality of leadership remained important in the efforts to develop the urban communities.

"A synergic cooperation between leaders, politicians, government officials, and businessmen is very important to the success of the program. City leaders are like conductors in an orchestra," he said. (44)