Haiti names hip-hop’s Wyclef Jean a ‘roving ambassador’ for the troubled Caribbean country


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Wyclef Jean has been named a roving ambassador for Haiti, the foreign minister announced Thursday.

The 34-year-old hip-hop star will promote development in the country and represent Haiti at various events abroad, said Foreign Affairs Minister Reynald Clerisme.

President Rene Preval chose Jean for the honorary position as a way to boost the image of an impoverished country that is struggling to restore stability after a violent rebellion in 2004.

“We have so much to recover from with our bad reputation. With Wyclef, we can gain a lot,” Clerisme said.

Jean, a Haitian citizen who lives in the United States, wasn’t immediately available for comment. His Yele Haiti foundation promotes arts, education and sports as a way to bring jobs and development to Haiti.

He grew up in poverty but left Haiti for the U.S. at age 9. Jean later won fame with The Fugees and as a solo performer.

On the Net:

Wyclef Jean: http://www.wyclef.com/

Yele Haiti: http://www.yele.org/