Hosts Egypt were placed in a tough group that includes Cameroon, Ghana and Mali after the draw for the U23 African Cup of Nations was made on Wednesday.
Egypt's second biggest city Alexandria hosted the draw ceremony, which was held at the century-old Haramlik Palace on the Mediterranean coast.
The Pharaohs were placed in Group A as they seek to win the tournament for the first time. Group B includes Nigeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Zambia.
Egypt's main objective would be finishing among the top three to qualify for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo for the first time since 2012.
They reached the quarter-finals at the London Games seven years ago but suffered a 3-0 loss to Japan at the Old Trafford.
Egypt finished third at the 2011 U23 Nations Cup and suffered an embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2015 edition.
The tournament will take place from 8-22 November at Cairo's International Stadium and Al-Salam Stadium in the capital.
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