AAAN President, Steve Babaeko named Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading

Steve Bbabeko – AAAN President and CEO X3M Ideas


Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Founder/CEO of X3M Ideas, the wave-making Pan-African advertising agency has been named a Visiting Fellow at the Henley Business School at The University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

The Fellowship which is expected to run for two years will see the esteemed Fellow,  Steve Babaeko, commence research into business cases that will contribute to development and optimisation of the creative industry in Nigeria and across Africa.

According to John Board, Dean of Henley Business School, “Steve brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in the African creative industry to the Reading research community and we are looking forward to seeing the insights that will come from this experience.”

Board further said “I am sure that working with the faculty and student body here at The University of Reading will enhance the good work Steve does in Nigeria and across Africa for the field and also increase its influence here and abroad.”

Steve Babaeko had previously been Chairman of the board of Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF), an annual creative festival organized by the AAAN. He is also a member of the board of International Advertising Association (I.A.A), Nigeria.

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Steve Babaeko’s creative journey has seen him play significant and leading roles in creating some of the most iconic marketing campaigns in Africa and is currently the only Nigerian named in Adweek’s elite list of 13 Global Creative leaders in 2019. He has also served on the Grand Jury of the New York Advertising Festival for over three years and was a keynote speaker at the 2018 International Advertising Association conference.


Babaeko believes the Reading Fellowship provides an opportunity for him and the advertising community to “begin to set the standard for the Nigerian creative industry and show everyone what is possible.” He adds: “I am grateful for this opportunity as I believe that we practitioners have to begin to explore the complex questions around the present state of our industry and its future not just in Nigeria but across Africa. I look forward to engaging all the other faculty members and students and learning from the wealth of knowledge that is available and is produced at the Henley Business School.”

The Henley Business School (HBS) is an international business school with more than 80,000 alumni in over 160 countries. The school conducts advanced research spanning a uniquely broad range of academic areas and fields like finance, business informatics, accounting, international business and strategy, leadership, marketing and reputation to name a few. HBS alongside The University of Readings’ other faculties, departments and schools conduct researches that span over 20 countries, providing an international dimension to its impact case studies and outputs.

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Founded in 1892 as a University of Oxford extension college, The University of Reading is one of the top 30 UK universities (ranked 27th out of 84 UK universities featured in the QS World University Rankings, 2021) based in the South East of England.

With More than 90 years of excellence and presently home to more than 23,000 students, The University of Reading has been at the forefront of global higher education for nearly a century. More than 150,000 students from 180 different countries have studied at Reading, with the first Reading international student from Kenya enrolling in 1908.