Current holder Yaya Toure is joined by nine other nominees for the 2012 accolade, who will be reduced to three later this month
The five nominees for the domestic-based African on the continent were also released alongside other categories for which winners will be announced at the Awards Gala scheduled to take place in Ghana on December 20.
Three Ivorians including Yaya Toure, Gervinho of Arsenal and two-time winner Didier Drogba feature on the list after their contributions to their country's run to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final.
The former Chelsea striker also starred in the Blues' Champions League triumph, having scored the equalsing goal and the winning penalty in the showpiece against Bayern Munich.
Ghana’s Andre Ayew, who was in the final trio last year, had a worthwhile 2011-12 season, scoring 16 goals for Marseille, also starred in Afcon as the Black Stars made the semi-final stage.
As widely expected, Zambia captain Christopher Katongo made the list, for leading his side to their first Continental title and for his role in the Chipolopolo's recent qualification for the 2013 tournament.
Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Newcastle’s Demba Ba of Senegal and Moroccan star Younes Belhanda were included for their efforts at club and national team levels, while Barcelona's Alex Song was picked for contributing to Arsenal’s impressive end to the Premier League last season.
Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel was vital to Chelsea’s success in winning the Champions League and FA Cup double last season.
Shortlist for the 2012 African Footballer of the Year award in alphabetical order
Alexandre Song, Cameroon
Andre Ayew, Ghana
Christopher Katongo, Zambia
Demba Ba, Senegal
Didier Drogba, Cote D’Ivoire
Gervinho, Cote D’Ivoire
John Obi Mikel, Nigeria
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabon
Yaya Toure, Cote D’Ivoire
Younes Belhanda, Morocco
Shortlist for African Player of the Year based in Africa
Mohamed Aboutreika, Egypt
Rainford Kalaba, Zambia
Stoppila Sunzu, Zambia
Yannick N’Djeng, Cameroon
Youssef Msakni, Tunisia
Other Awards categories
1. National Team of the Year
2. Women’s Footballer of the Year
3. Women’s National Team of the Year
4. Club of the Year
5. Most Promising Talent of the Year
6. Coach of the Year
7. Referee of the Year
8. Legend Award
9. Fair Play Award
10. Platinum Award
11. Africa Finest XI
The above shortlists, which were decided by Caf’s technical, football and media committees, will now be passed on to head coaches and technical directors from Caf member associations who will vote to decide the eventual winners.