Musk to Join President Jokowi at World Water Forum 2024, Launch Starlink

15 May 2024


The 10th World Water Forum (WWF), set to take place from May 18-25, 2024, will feature a groundbreaking event as Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will launch the Starlink broadband service on May 19. This historic launch aims to enhance digital connectivity across Indonesia, particularly in remote regions. 


Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan confirmed Musk's attendance and participation in the forum.  


"The President, together with Elon Musk, will launch Starlink in the hopes of facilitating communication in remote areas. The launch will take place on Sunday," Mr. Pandjaitan announced after a technical meeting in Badung district, Bali, as quoted from Antaranews. 


Starlink, a satellite internet constellation operated by Musk's SpaceX, promises to provide high-speed internet to underserved areas by leveraging a network of low Earth orbit satellites. This initiative is expected to bridge the digital divide in Indonesia, where geographical challenges have hindered internet access for many communities. Currently, only two-thirds of Indonesia's 270 million people have reliable internet access . 


The WWF itself is expected to draw 9,477 international delegates from 104 countries. 


The forum, which emphasizes global water issues, will see Musk deliver a speech at the opening ceremony, highlighting the synergy between technological advancement and sustainable development. 


Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi underscored the importance of Starlink in improving Indonesia's digital infrastructure.  


"On one hand, we are aiming to boost the Internet speed. On the other hand, we are striving to achieve equitable distribution (of Internet access) since we still find it difficult to connect remote regions (to the Internet)," Setiadi stated.  


He emphasized that Starlink's operations will complement rather than compete with local internet providers. 


The forum also marks the beginning of several significant projects, including the groundbreaking for the International Mangrove Research Center, a collaboration between Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.