The winner will be announced on Friday, 11 December between 15:30 and 16:00 GMT during a special live broadcast on both BBC World News and BBC World Service, with the BBC Sport and BBC Africa websites also carrying the announcement.
Three of this year’s shortlist, which was voted for by journalists from 46 African countries, have previously won the BBC award – Ayew in 2011, Toure in 2013 and Brahimi.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been in prolific form in the Bundesliga
Aubameyang makes the shortlist for the third year running, while Mane is on it for the first time.
Striker Aubameyang, 26, finished as Borussia Dortmund’s top scorer last season before creating German records in 2015-16.
In October, he became the first man to score in the first eight matches of a Bundesliga season, with his first 17 competitive games resulting in 20 goals – a run that included back-to-back hat-tricks.
Andre Ayew has made a superb start to life in the Premier League with Swansea
The year has had plenty of highs for Ayew, but February’s Africa Cup of Nations final reduced the 25-year-old to tears as the Black Stars lost to Ivory Coast.
But the tournament’s joint top scorer was crucial to Ghana’s run and he transferred his form to the Premier League, with an impressive five goals from his first 10 games for Swansea City.
Yacine Brahimi has scored seven goals in 2015 for Porto
Brahimi, 25, has added goals to his stellar wing play, netting a career-best 13 last season, while helping Porto reach their first Champions League quarter-final in six years.
The number of dribbles he completed prior to the semi-finals was only bettered by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.
On 16 May, Southampton’s Mane needed just 176 seconds to score the fastest hat-trick in the 23-year history of the Premier League.
Sadio Mane scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history this year
He has scored 10 goals and five assists in 29 Premier League games this year, a run made more impressive given the 23-year-old plays as an advanced midfielder rather than in the central striking role.
Yaya Toure won the BBC African footballer of the year award in 2013
The only player on the shortlist to lift a trophy this year is Toure – the 32-year-old captaining Ivory Coast to a first Nations Cup title in more than two decades.
The oldest nominee, the midfielder is key to Manchester City’s fortunes and his performances have been recognised by Fifa, which named him as the only African on its prestigious Ballon d’Or shortlist.
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