The U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (U-23 AFCON) was created in 2011, to serve as the continental qualifier to the Olympic Games.

It is a very special competition with many emerging talents cutting their teeth at the tournament because it is the pathway to the Olympic Games, which is the biggest dream of every sportsman or woman.

Initially christened CAF U-23 Championship, the maiden edition was scheduled for Egypt, but due to security concerns at the time in the North African country, Morocco was named new host with the tournament taking place from 26 October – 10 November 2011, in the cities of Marrakech and Tangiers.

The participants of the first edition were host Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal in Group A, with Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon and South Africa completing Group B.

Gabon etched their name in the history books by becoming the first champions, beating Morocco 2-1 in the final in Marrakech.

During a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee on 6 August 2015, the name of the competition was changed from CAF U-23 Championship to U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The second edition was played from 28 November to 12 December 2015 in Senegal, with Dakar and M’bour as host cities. Nigeria beat Algeria 2-1 in the final in Dakar.