Mr. Stephen Gaojia served as the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children’s Affairs in Sierra Leone from October 2011 to Jan 2013. During his tenure as Minister, he launched the National Referral Protocol on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the National Action Plan (NAP) on GBV, and enacted the Sexual Offenses Act of 2012. In addition to his commitment to women’s freedom from GBV, he led the implementation of the National Action Plan on the United National Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and established a Steering Committee to oversee its implementation.
After serving as Minister, Mr. Gaojia became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the National Ebola Response Center in Sierra Leone. He oversaw the financial management of Ebola response initiatives and operations. As COO, he also served as a member of the Global Ebola Response Coalition at the United Nations Level, representing Sierra Leone’s experiences and learning in global forums. Mr. Gaojia’s other experiences with health and gender include consulting for WaterAid, Sierra Leone, on the HerWASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) Project for Menstrual Hygiene, and acting as an Interim Team Lead for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone.
Mr. Gaojia currently serves as the Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance Advisor to the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Center in Sierra Leone. He provides advice on national coordination, strategic direction, national planning, and data management. He assists with the activation and operationalization of decentralized structures especially the District CoVID-19 Emergency Response Centers and make recommendations on areas that need strengthening and the best actions to take to optimize the response.