The 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup starts tomorrow with teams across the continent set to battle it out for a place at the 2019 World Cup.
The top six teams in Africa, excluding South Africa who have already qualified for the World Cup in Japan, will face each other in a league format, with home and away matches taking place between June 16 and August 18.
It is played in a round-robin format.
Namibia are the highest ranked side in the competition at 24th in the world, followed by Kenya at 28.
The rest of the teams in the competition, Uganda, Morocco, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, are ranked at 37, 38, 42 and 44 in the world respectively.
The winner of the competition will qualify for the Rugby World Cup next year, joining reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage tournament winner in Pool B.
They will also be the first recipients of the newly created Perpetual Trophy, which was unveiled at the International Sports Press Association Congress in Brussels in May.
It is designed to embody rugby's values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.
The runner-up will go into the four team repechage tournament in November.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are looking forward to witnessing a very high quality and extremely competitive 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup as the six nations involved compete for the right to qualify for what is shaping up to be a fantastic Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
"There has never been a more exciting time for rugby in Africa with ten African nations currently placed in the top-50 of the world rankings and more women and men, girls and boys playing the sport than ever before."
Rugby is the fastest growing sport in Africa and has seen record participation growth and fan engagement over the last five years.
Since 2002 the number of African nations playing rugby has risen from six to 38, reflecting the extensive development work that has taken place across the region.
The tournament will kick off tomorrow when Zimbabwe host Morocco at the Harare Sports Club.
Namibia also play tomorrow.
They face Uganda at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek.