File Photo: NIC BOTHMA

Ivory Coast will start their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations against Togo in January, according to the draw made on Wednesday.

Ivory Coast, who beat Ghana on ponalties in the 2015 final, are in Group C against Togo, Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hosts Gabon will stage the opening match in Libreville on January 14 against Group A opponents Guinea-Bissau who make their first appearance in the 16-nation tournament.

Cameroon and Burkina Faso are also in the group.

The other group favourites, Algeria and Ghana start against Zimbabwe and Uganda respectively.

Algeria have the toughest first round task in Group B where they must also take on Tunisia and Senegal for one of the two qualifying places for the quarter-finals.

Ghana are the team to beat in Group D. Apart from Uganda, they will take on Egypt, making their return to the contest after missing three finals, and Mali.

The final is in Libreville on February 5.

Fixtures for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon after draw was made in Libreville:

Group A

Jan 14

Gabon v Guinea-Bissau , Burkina Faso v Cameroon -

Jan 18

Gabon v Burkina Faso, Cameroon v Guinea-Bissau

Jan 22

Gabon v Cameroon

Guinea-Bissau v Burkina Faso

Group B

Jan 15

Algeria v Zimbabwe, Tunisia v Senegal

Jan 19

Algeria v Tunisia, Senegal v Zimbabwe

Jan 23

Algeria v Senegal

Zimbabwe v Tunisia

Group C

Jan 16

Ivory Coast (holders) v Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo v Morocco

Jan 20

Ivory Coast v DR Congo, Morocco v Togo

Jan 24

Ivory Coast v Morocco

Togo v DR Congo

Group D

Jan 17

Ghana v Uganda, Mali v Egypt

Jan 21

Ghana v Mali, Egypt v Uganda

Jan 25

Ghana v Egypt

Uganda v Mali