GM Slim Belkhodja of Tunisia and IM Aimen Rizouk of Algeria are also top seeds as well as IM Amon Simutowe who is playing on home soil. It would be fitting for Simutowe to win the tournament and earn his 3rd Grandmaster norm and qualify for the title. IM Watu Kobese of South Africa will also be in the hunt for a top spot.
While Morocco's GM Hichem Hamdouchi is missing, the tournament will produce fighting chess as both qualifying spots and international titles hang in the balance. Besides Adly, there are some young talented players such as Daniel Jere of Zambia and FM Farai Mandizha of Zimbabwe. These players as well as South Africa's IM Kenny Solomon and Botswana's Ignatius Njobvu will try to impress.
While West Africa's powerhouse Nigeria is mysteriously absent, East Africa is also missing key federations with both Uganda and Kenya missing. Uganda recently traveled to Germany for training which makes their absence more puzzling. There are ten federations represented with Malawi adding a new face to African chess.
Twenty-one year old WIM Marany Meyer is the lone woman in the open section while fifteen women will battle for the women's continental crown. Egypt's Sohir Busta is the top seed followed by Tuduetso Sabure (Botswana), Joy Mtine (Zambia) and the South African quartet of WIM Denise Frick, WIM Anzčl Laubscher, WCM Carmen de Jager and S. Van de Venter.
Stats open section: 10 federations; 35 players (2 GMs, 9 IMs, 3 FMs, 1 WIM)
Stats women's section: 6 federations; 15 players (3 WIMs, 1 WCM)