Taking place every two years, the tournament brings together Africa's best national sides. This year's edition is jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, neither of which has welcomed a major international tournament before. Each country has dedicated two stadiums to the event.
The 2012 tournament is already notable for the absence of many of the continent's traditional powerhouses: Egypt (who have won the Cup of Nations a record seven times), Nigeria and Cameroon all failed to negotiate the qualifying rounds. This has inspired the hopes of the host nations, who will also be bouyed by fervent support.
The favourites for the tournament are the Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal, all of which boast impressive squads, replete with stars from Europe's top leagues. The recent success of African players such as Didier Drogba, Asamoah Gyan and Demba Ba in the Premier League has brought a wave of interest in the tournament, which will be broadcast around the world.
Fans in the UK will be able to watch the Africa Cup of Nations on Eurosport and ITV. Be sure to tune in for one of the world's most colourful sporting events!