Our History

Its Beginnings

Gotabgaa (meaning "our homeland family") began in 1993 as an emailing list of Kenyans in the Diaspora who, driven by the need to connect with each other, sought to utilize the internet as a means for creating forums for discussing and sharing on issues affecting them and their beloved country.


In 2003, the first annual conference was held in Atlanta Georgia, prompted by the participants desire to meet in person. This conference was attended by 73 Kenyans. From then to date, the Gotabgaa Conference has been successfully held each year.

Gotabgaa Conferences



2003 Greensboro,NC

2004 Atlanta,GA

2005 Atlanta,GA

2006 Raleigh,NC

2007 Kansas City,Kansas

2008 Dallas,TX

2009 Desmoines, IA

2010 Washington, DC

2011 Minneapolis-Saint Paul , Minnesota

2012 Atlanta, GA
2013 Dallas, Texas
2014 Kansas City Kansas/Mo

and 2015 will be held in Washington DC

Annual Conferences

When

The conference is held annually in the summer time (by North American Calendar), usually in the months of June and July. No specific, uniform dates are set, but is left to the discretion of the hosting Gotabgaa Chapter. The conference usually runs from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, morning through evening hours, though variably.

Place/Venue

The hosting of the conference rotates between the chapters/states/regions. To host the next conference, a chapter in attendance at the current meeting has to bid and make its case after which voting is done and the winner declared.

Content and form

The content (& theme) and form of each conference is determined by the hosting Chapter, but has to be in line with the overall Mission and objectives of the Organization. The sessions are an interplay and an interweave of presentations from guest speakers, discussions on selected topics, cultural activities such as music and comedy from Kenyan and other artists, cultural fashion shows, camaraderie, cook outs and sightseeing, and sports.

Accommodation, Transportation & Meals

Those planning to attend are responsible for arranging for their accommodation and transportation. To the extent possible, the hosting Chapter helps with providing relevant information and in negotiating for good rates under the collective banner of the conference. The hosting state usually provides the meals which are, largely, Kenyan dishes. No need for anyone to worry, though, these dishes have a universal appeal.

A registration fee whose rate is determined by the hosting Chapter is applied on every attendee for the purposes of organizational and service costs. This can be paid prior to the conference or on arrival, the former being preferred and encouraged.

Attendees

Attendance is open to all. Attendees travel from Kenya and across the Diaspora. Guests in past meetings have included Kenyan Government Ministers and Officials, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and various Kenyan and other artists.