Throughout the history of the African Cup of Nations, three different trophies have been awarded to the winners of the competition. The original trophy, made of silver, was the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, named after the first CAF president, Egyptian Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem.
As the first winner of three African Cup of Nations tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978.
The second trophy was awarded from 1980 to 2000, and was named “Trophy of African Unity” or “African Unity Cup”.
It was given to CAF by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa prior to the 1980 tournament and it was a cylindrical piece with the Olympic rings over a map of the continent engraved on it. It sat on a square base and had stylized triangular handles. Cameroon won the Unity Cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2000.
In 2001, the third trophy was revealed, a gold-plated cup designed and made in Italy. Cameroon, permanent holders of the previous trophy, were the first nation to be awarded the new trophy after they won the 2002 edition. Egypt won the gold-plated cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2010, in an unprecedented achievement by winning three consecutive continental titles.
Unlike previous winners who would have then taken the trophy home, Egypt was presented with a special full-size replica that they were allowed to keep. First and second-time winners usually get a smaller sized replica for their trophy cabinets.