The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has increased the number of participating teams in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from eight to 12 following an Executive Committee meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.
The change will take effect from 2020.
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad confirmed the news on his Twitter.
The biennial tournament has featured eighth teams for the previous 11 editions.
Previously held with two groups of four teams, the Awcon has been contested with this format since 1998.
The past format also saw the top two teams in each group qualified for the semi-finals, with four teams crashing out of the competition.
Nigeria are the most successful team in Awcon history, with nine titles followed by Equatorial Guinea with two.
Black Queens have never won the women's continental title but have been losing finalists on three occasions - 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Following Congo's withdrawal last week, 2020 hosts and formats of the new 12-team tournament are yet to be revealed.