The 39-year-old claimed the level of competition in the AFCON is far higher than that of the World Cup.
Paintsil made 89 appearances for Ghana and represented the country at two World Cups in 2006 and 2010.
The ex-Fulham and West Ham United full-back also participated in five AFCONs with his nation.
“I think the Africa Cup of Nations is stronger than the World Cup, because Africans, we know ourselves, and the competition is very high,” he told Goal.
“I’m not going to talk about the officiating side [of things], because the officiating is fantastic, but when we’re playing African countries against each other, we call it a derby, a local derby, and it’s very different—it pushes us.”
Paintsil explained that the AFCON presents a perfect opportunity for players to gain the needed experience in the careers.
In his view, Ghana’s participation in the competition is what helped the Black Stars to perform well at the World Cup.
“[The Afcon] gives us more strength to work and to prepare for the World Cup, but for me, the Afcon is always tougher than the World Cup itself.
“It gives the players experience, and an idea of competing in these tournaments,” the former wideman concluded, “so for [Ghana], the Nations Cup pushed us to where we got to in the World Cup,” he added.