Cameroon and Angola hosted the competitions in respective fashion last year with Tunisia taking first place in Group A ahead of the second phase later this year.
However, Angola rode on massive support from the home crowd to win three games including a 62-56 win over North Africans side Morocco.
Games in Groups B and D will be played from February 23-25 in Bamako, Mali and Maputo, Mozambique respectively later this month.
The host pair will be in the spotlight as they attempt to emulate Angola’s unblemished mark at home as they attempt to qualify to the next phase.
Only the top three teams in each group make it to the next round with five places up for grabs in next year’s world event.
Africa’s slots at the World Cup was increased from three to five coinciding with increased slots at the World Cup from 24 to 32 participating teams.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter