The 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will kick off at 16:00 GMT on Saturday when hosts Gabon take on debutants Guinea-Bissau.Sixty years have passed since the first Nations Cup, which took place in Sudan in 1957, consisted of only three teams and was won by Egypt.
This year's edition has 32 matches over 23 days, featuring 16 teams - who begin their quest in four groups of four - and will end on 5 February with the winning finalists lifting the Italian-made trophy and taking home $4m (£3.28m).
Players to watch
As well as Aubameyang, many eyes will be on reigning BBC African Footballer of the Year and Caf African Footballer of the year Riyad Mahrez and Africa's most expensive player Sadio Mane.
Leicester winger Mahrez will be a key figure in an Algeria team which until recently had been ranked the best team in Africa.
Mane, who cost Liverpool £34m, leads the line for Senegal. The Teranga Lions have never won the event but Mane could be the key to changing that statistic.
Twenty three players from English Premier League clubs will be in Gabon including Mahrez, Mane, Manchester United's Ivorian defender Eric Bailly, West Ham's Ghanaian Andre Ayew, Leicester's Algerian Islam Slimani and Crystal Palace's Ivorian Wilfried Zaha.
Winger Zaha has only just switched international allegiance from England and started his career with the Elephants in sensational style by scoring on his second appearance for the team in a friendly against Uganda earlier this week.
Egypt's Mohamed Salah has been outstanding since his switch from Chelsea to Italian giants Roma. Once labelled the African Messi, the winger has recently recovered from injury but if he can find his best form he could light up the tournament.
At the other end of the spectrum, Guinea-Bissau skipper Bocundji Ca was playing for third division French club Paris FC last season
Togo coach Claude LeRoy is making a record-extending ninth appearance at the finals and leading a sixth different nation. The Frenchman, considered the Godfather of the Nations Cup, has won the tournament once - with Cameroon in 1988 - and has only once failed to reach the quarter-finals stage.
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary can become the oldest player in the tournament's history - if he gets some game time in Gabon. The veteran shot stopper turns 44 on 15 January. Compatriot Hossam Hassan holds the record - he was 39 when he played in 2006.
The Pharaohs have won the tournament a record seven times and they have a chance to further pull away from the pack for the first time since their last success in 2010. Failure to qualify for the last three editions has marred their recent past and they will relish the chance to re-establish themselves at the top table.
Herve Renard is aiming to become the first coach to win the title with three different teams. The Frenchman lifted the trophy with Zambia in 2012 and led Ivory Coast to glory last time out.
He is aiming to make it a hat-trick with Morocco. Only two coaches have won the Cup of Nations three times - Charles Gyamfi achieved the feat in charge of Ghana in 1963, 1965 and 1982 and Hassan Shehata also won it three times with Egypt between 2006 and 2010
Guinea-Bissau are making their first appearance at the finals. Their qualification is virtually the stuff of fairytales: one of the world's poorest countries overcoming 2012 champions to top their group, having previously won only four of 32 matches in their history.
With a squad almost entirely made of expatriates who are based in the lower leagues of Portugal, few expect Guinea-Bissau's run to continue but what a story it is already.