From the African U-20 Championship to the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, this tournament has been changing names and qualification format.
From its inception in 1979 to 1989, participants were determined purely on a home and away qualifying basis without a final tournament, with the champions being determined through home and away knockout fixtures.
1991 saw a new era of a qualifying stage which was followed by the final tournament of 8 teams inclusive of the host. The name was also changed to African U-21 Championship and later to African Youth Championship.
On 6 August 2015, the CAF Executive Committee decided to change the name of the tournament from the African Youth Championship to the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
This year is the first time Uganda is qualifying for this tournament after winning the CECAFA U-20 tournament. Ghana on the other hand are seasoned challengers in the competition having won the championship thrice; 1993, 1999 and 2009.