Joko Widodo


Indonesia's president who styles himself a man of the people. Universally known as Jokowi, Joko Widodo former governor of Indonesia's capital Jakarta became the seventh president, in 2014, of the world's third-largest democracy - a nation of far flung archipelago of 250 million people, 13,466 islands, three time zones, 360 ethnic groups and 719 languages. He is like no leader Indonesia has had before, with roots in neither the army nor an established family of tightly knit elite. Instead Jokowi rose up through local government, a product of the far-reaching political decentralisation that was introduced after the overthrow of Suharto, Indonesia's late dictator, in 1999. First directly elected mayor of Solo, a medium-sized city in central Java, in 2005 and re-elected in 2010, Joko Widodo revamped the city of 50,000 people by refurbishing markets, relocating slum dwellers and driving growth by cutting red tape. When he became Jakarta's governor in 2012 he broadened access to heath and education, kick-started long-delayed transport projects and ousted incompetent bureaucrats. In both posts he impressed with his honesty and ability to get things done. Jokowi has a reputation for being a 'man of the people'. Born in a humble riverside dwelling in Solo, Jokowi followed his parents into the small-scale timber industry. After studying forestry at Gadah Mada University, one of Indonesia's best, he set up his own furniture factory and began to export around the world.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

Write a comment

Name: Comment: