Makassar: Entrepreneurial, Creative and Productive
    Category: Column By : Hermawan Kartajaya Read : 814 Date : Tuesday, March 01, 2017 - 11:51:09

    Frankly, I am surprised to learn Makassar, South Sulawesi’s capital, has managed to grow its economy by 8% last year while inflation was at 3%—well above national growth of 5%, with 3% inflation. Moreover, the human development index also improved, from 79.4 in 2014 to 79.9 in 2015. Life expectancy in the same period has also gone up, from 71.4 to 71.5.

    These figures come from a Special Coordination Meeting of the Makassar city government on February 8. At the event, I met Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, the former Indonesian Ambassador to U.S. All the local government staff (SKPD) were seated around the stage in the middle. In front of the stage, some tables were put up to discuss creative ideas with action plans. The next event at the  meeting was lectures from speakers such as the army, police, the attorney general of Indonesia and an anti-corruption NGO.

    Dino and I were asked to provide inputs on marketing for Makassar from general and international perspectives. Thus, three things were immediately accomplished:

    Inputs from various sectors from outside parties for Makassar’s bureaucrats.

    The completed Action Plans of new initiatives.

    For all SKPD to understand what other SKPD were doing, forming one solid unit.

    The show was broadcast live by a local TV station, and streamed on the Internet. It was a breakthrough from Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan “Danny” Pomanto, who has been the regional head for two years and seven months. Years ago, I had reviewed the innovative garbage bank initiative. Garbage can be deposited into an SME Waste Bank, which organizes the garbage and pays the depositors. The municipal government will sell the waste to recycling companies. Thus, ordinary people are collecting trash and depositing it into the Trash Bank. I have also reviewed the hallways that have been greened by residents on government guidance, with plants grown from seeds given by the government. Makassar has also been made into a Smart City with call center services, various apps and CCTV coverage. Makassar is becoming famous as a city being transformed into a town that Danny calls a Sombere and Smart City. Sombere Makassar is a term for hospitality. In promoting tourism, the city has also held the Makassar International Festival & Forum 2016.

    For his accomplishments, Danny has become the only Indonesian mayor invited to a U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Summit two years ago. Much has been done by Danny—who wants to be called “Si Anak Lorong”— and he is an example for other regional heads. He is a mayor who is entrepreneurial, creative and productive. As a professional expert on urban spatial structures, he has made a breakthrough to improve the city. That’s why  investors are flocking to Makassar to help build the city. We should applaud the mayor’s accomplishments, because competitions between cities has become more exciting than competitions between countries.