International chancellor at President University
The seven decades since Independence was declared in 1945 can be divided into three phases. The first two decades put down the roots of the country, establishing its foundation and its composition, bringing the huge archipelago into one under the charisma of Sukarno. A recognition of the global role that Indonesia would play in the future was the hosting in Bandung in 1955 of the first conference of non-aligned nations.
The next three decades were focused on getting fundamental issues — food, water education and then connectivity (roads) — moving, since the economic condition of the country by the late 1960s was poor, and the average life of an Indonesian citizen was 47 years, well below the world norm.
The following were the Soeharto years, autocratic, politically restrictive but mostly benign and successful because Soeharto allowed the ec...
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