This bronze six-pointed star has a circular centre with the GRI/VI monogram, surmounted by the Royal crown, and inscribed 'The Africa Star'. The star has a height of 44mm and maximum width of 38mm.
The Africa Star was issued unengraved to New Zealand service persons, as were other Second World War campaign medals awarded for service for New Zealand. The same no engraving policy was applied by other British Commonwealth countries, except for Australia and South Africa.
The ribbon is pale buff in colour, with a central vertical red stripe, and narrower stripes, one dark blue and the other light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the central red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, and the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force.