Founded in 2009, CGIBA is an interdisciplinary research, teaching and service institute based in the Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University. The Centre is involved in the development, promotion and teaching of the various dimensions of Graphic, Illustration and Book Art. The Centre reports to the Board of the University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The Director of the Centre is Keith Dietrich. Dietrich has a PhD in the History of Art (Unisa). He is responsible for the overall management of the Centre, as well as the Centre's Book Art Unit.

The Head of the Comic Art Unit is Andy Mason, who also works as a freelance comic artist, illustrator, book designer, and editor, and has an MA in Media and Cultural Studies (UKZN). Mason recently started an independant publishing company called PreAzanian Publications and is currently in the process of publishing his first full length quasi-autobiographical graphic anhtology.

The centre's Social Media and Communications Manager is Roberto Millan. Roberto managed the communications for the CGIBA from 2009 up until 2011, while assisting with projects and events in the centre's initial startup phase and completing his MPhil in Visual Arts (Illustration) at Stellenbosch University. Roberto recently resumed his position at the centre in 2013 and is currently working fulltime as an editorial cartoonist and comic strip artist in Cape Town.

The organisation of the CGIBA Spring Creative Workshop program is managed by Marika Bell.

Joseph Mureithi oversees the technical programming of the CGIBA website.

The Centre aims to extend and consolidate the work undertaken by a number of parallel and related initiatives that have taken place over the last five years: the Comics Brew Festival of International Comic Art; the TransAtlant-ink exhibition and the Young Cartoonist Project; the Stellenbosch University Department of Visual Arts programme and MPhil in Comic Art and Illustration; the establishment at the University of Stellenbosch Library of a Special Collection of Comic Art; the Durban Cartoon Project; and the Igubu Comics Project in Cape Town.

Briefly, the main aims of the Centre are:

  • to improve public understanding and reception of the disciplines of Graphic, Illustration and Book Art and to improve the international profile of South African artists who work in these disciplines
  • to mentor, train and develop South African practitioners in these fields through exhibitions, publications, training courses and developmental projects 
  • to facilitate collaborations and dialogues with artists in other countries, especially in the SADC region
  • to pursue the establishment of a membership-based organisation and a journal to represent the interests of artists working in comic art, illustration and book art
  • to establish a permanent collection and archive of South African comic art, illustration and book art at the Stellenbosch University library and museum
  • to raise funds to accomplish these aims through fundraising and business activities.