Only one of Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria will play at the next tournament in Russia after the Confederation of African Football made the draw for five qualifying groups on Friday.
The three traditional powers were grouped with Zambia.
Just the group winner in each of five four-team pools will advance to the 32-team tournament in Russia.
Ivory Coast, which aims to reach its fourth straight World Cup, was grouped with Gabon, Mali and Morocco.
Ghana, the other African team in Brazil in 2014, was grouped with Congo, Egypt andUganda.
Africa’s group-stage program will kick off in October and continues through November 2017.
Group A: Tunisia, Libya, Congo, Guinea.
Group B: Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria.
Group C: Gabon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Morocco.
Group D: Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands.
Group E: Ghana, Egypt, Congo, Uganda.