*Wyclef Jean has been honored in his native Haiti for his continued efforts to raise the profile of the troubled country.

Haiti’s new president, Michel Martelly, bestowed the distinction on Jean “as a sign of the utmost appreciation for his dedication to the promotion of Haiti across the world” in a special ceremony in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday (July 20).

Ironically, Martelly was one of Jean’s main challengers for the office of Haiti’s President when he attempted to run for office last year. The rapper was subsequently deemed ineligible for the position as he resides mainly in the U.S. and went on to support Martelly.

Jean, who was made a roving ambassador for his homeland in 2007, has been a driving force behind the nation’s rebuilding efforts following the devastation of a major earthquake in 2010 – and his work has earned him the title of Grand Officer of the National Order of Honor and Merit.

Presenting the award, Martelly said, “I have great joy in solemnly honoring a son of this earth who has assumed with force, conviction and humanity, his Haitian quality. You are one of the Haitians who make us proud.”