Ethiopia captain Degu Debebe believes The Walia Antelopes can do the impossible at the 2013 Africa Nations Cup in South Africa.

The 29-year-old veteran defender said Ethiopia could learn from Zambia's experience after the latter lifted their debut AFCON trophy in their 15th attempt last February in Gabon.

"We can learn a lesson from them and make possible what seems impossible," Debebe said. "We will give our best."

Ethiopia will be making their first return to the Africa Cup since 1982 when they failed to advance from the preliminary group stage of the tournament hosted by Libya.

"What matters most is our strength," said Debebe, who has 46 caps for Ethiopia.

"We saw how Zambia performed at the last AFCON. No one expected them to win the cup.

"They won because they played as a team and didn’t underestimate any team."

Ethiopia will hope to get that inspiration in the most unusual way by beating Zambia in both sides’ opening Group C game on January 21 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

The 1962 champions are expected to arrive in Nelspruit on January 16.