The EASTAFAB was founded in 2003 with the sole aim of promoting visual arts in East Africa. It is registered by the National Arts Council (Baraza la Sanaa la Taifa - BASATA) under the certificate No BST/1325. It is a non-governmental and non-profit association run on a voluntary basis.

The Association holds a Biennale at any place of its choice. But since its inception all the Biennales have been held in Dar es Salaam. A Biennale is an exhibition of artworks submitted by local as well as overseas artists held after every two years. The local Organizing Committees in the East African region are responsible for the selection of the artworks to be exhibited. They usually have their own criteria that guide their selection. Artists are supplied with application forms after every two years upon request.