Civil war in Libya made the Confederation of African Football (CAF) choose South Africa as host of this year's cup. This might give Bafana Bafana, who won the tournament in 1996, the opportunity to take the title for the second time. During apartheid South Africa was barred from participating in the competition. In 2013, South Africa will meet Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco in Group A.
Zambia's dramatic victory in 2012 will not fade from people's minds that quickly. In the last tournament, Zambia emerged victorious when they beat Ivory Coast 8-7 in a penalty shoot out. That was the second title for Zambia. Zambia plays in Group C together with Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
The "Elephants" head to South Africa as last tournaments runners-up. They beat Senegal 4-2 in the home play qualifications round and qualified when they lead the come back match in Dakar. Marred by riots, the game was terminated before the final siren. This time around, Ivory Coast will join Tunisia, Algeria and Togo in Group D.
For the seventh time around Angola has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations championship, after the Black Antelope, "Palancas Negras," prevailed over Zimbabwe. At home, Angola was beaten 1-3, but qualified to go to South Africa after they scored 2-0 in the return game. Both goals were scored by Manucho (right).
Angolan fans have faith in their team - they believe the boys will manage to get through the group phase successfully. And, a win against host-nation, South Africa and out-siders Morocco is something "doable." Nevertheless, the Uruguayan national coaching Angola remains cautious. He thinks their Group A draw is going to be difficult.
Cape Verdeans are proud of their "Blue Sharks" or "Tubaroes Azuis," as they are known on the West African island. This is the first time Carpe Verde is participating in such a major international tournament. Qualifying only after they beat Cameroon in the qualifiers earlier this month. They will kick start the tournament against host-nation South Africa in Johannesburg on 19 January.
The Cape Verdean team were victorious against Cameroon in the first round in Praia under coach Lúcio Antunes (pictured). They needed a 1-2 win in the second qualifier in Yaoundé to qualify for the tournament in South Africa. Although the Cape Verde islands will have to meet three tough opponents in Group A, South Africa, Morocco and Angola, a win in the first round is very likely.
Ghana has won the African championship four times already. The team has been in the finals eight times. Midfielder Andre Ayew who plays with Olympique Marseille (right) is the most famous player to take the pitch. In the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations competition, Ghana will play against Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Group B.
The "Super Eagles" are considered the best team in Africa. In 1994, the World Football Association (FIFA) ranked them fifth. Still to this day this is the best ranking of any African team. Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 and again in 1994. They took home third in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010. In South Africa, Nigeria will compete against Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia in Group C.
Politically, Mali suffers from the spin-off of the north by radical Islamists. Nevertheless, its team qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. At the last Africa Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the team surprisingly finished in third place. Mali will play in Group B with Ghana, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The West African nation of Burkina Faso is considered to be a country with little football tradition. Its best result was at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998 when they came fourth. Star of the team, striker Moumouni Dagano (pictured center) plays with Al-Sailiya in Qatar. Bukina Faso will be playing in Group C with Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
This is the 16th time Tunisia is taking part in the tournament. In 2004, Tunisia won the competition as the host nation. In 1978, they made history at the World Cup in Mexico when they emerged victorious by scoring 3-1 against Argentina. This time they take on Ivory Coast, Algeria and Togo in Group D.
The "Lions from the Atlas Mountains" beat Mozambique 4-1 in Marrakesh, qualifying them for the 2013 tournament in South Africa. Morocco was the first African team to hold top place in the group stage at the 1986 World Cup when it played against England, Poland and Portugal. They won the Africa Cup in 1976. This time around they play South Africa, Angola and Cape Verde in Group A.
After first participating in 2011, Niger is heading to South Africa for the second time. In the West African language Hausa, the team is known as "Menas," meaning gazelle. Defender Mohamed Chicoto (left) of AS Marsa in Tunisia is considered to be one of the most prominent players. Niger will compete in Group B with Ghana, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Togo has participated six times in the Africa Cup of Nations. In 2006 they played in the World Cup in Germany. In 2010 the team was attacked by rebels at a tournament in the Cabinda region in Angola. The attack killed three people. In South Africa, Togo will be playing Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Algeria in the Group D fixture.
Ethiopian trainer Sewnet Bishaw's efforts saw the team qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. For 31 years the team was unable to qualify for the tournament. The last time they participated was in 1962 when the championship was held on their home turf. Ethiopia will face defending champions Zambia, as well as Nigeria and Burkina Faso in a tough Group C line-up at this years compeition.
In 1974 the team made history. The Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire, was the first team from Sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for the World Cup. Since then, the team has won the African Cup of Nations twice, in 1968 and 1974. In 2013 the team will play in Group B with Ghana, Mali and Niger.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations' qualifier groups have been drawn in Durban. 16 teams will be competing between January and February for the Africa Cup of Nations championship.