Shock 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Morocco and 53 other African nations will discover on Wednesday who they must overcome to qualify for the next edition in Canada, Mexico and the USA.
A seeded draw in Abidjan will divide the 54 hopefuls into nine groups of six with all the first-placed teams securing places at the 2026 finals.
The best four runners-up then go into play-offs and the winners join five other teams in an inter-confederation tournament with two World Cup places up for grabs.
Were an African team to fill one of those slots, the continent will have a record 10 representatives at the 2026 finals, up from five in Qatar last year.
Morocco, the first semi-finalists from Africa, Cameroon, Senegal and Tunisia featured at the 2022 tournament and are among the nine first seeds for the draw.
But the fifth African participants, Ghana, miss out and, along with eight other teams including South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have to settle for being second seeds.
Seeding for the Abidjan draw is based on the June FIFA world rankings and four-time World Cup qualifiers Ghana lie 11th.
Mali were the big winners in the rankings, climbing two places to eighth in Africa after a 2-0 victory over Congo Brazzaville in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Winning gave the Malians top-seed status and relegated Burkina Faso, 3-1 losers to Cape Verde in another Cup of Nations match, to second seeds.