In his speech, Ouattara recognized the 20 heads of state who were present at the ceremony in the capital, Yamoussoukro, mentioning French President Nicholas Sarkozy first. He then called for a moment of silence to remember compatriots killed in the bloodshed that followed the disputed November election.
Ouattara's predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge defeat at the polls and cede power. Ouattara finally became president after Gbagbo's capture last month.
Ouattara had already been sworn in but Saturday's event was a formal start to a presidency challenged by myriad issues plaguing Ivory Coast. Ouattara's administration faces a huge task of reuniting a divided country, human rights groups have said.
In the months after the November vote, spiraling violence between forces loyal to both sides left hundreds dead, and cases of enforced disappearances and sexual violence were reported.
Human rights investigators said this month that they have found a total of 10 mass graves near the commercial capital of Abidjan.
The country is still greatly fractured along ethnic and tribal lines. Vicious atrocities were perpetrated against thousands. Many of the worst crimes will go unpunished because there were so many. And by no means is the country out of the dark times yet. Ouattara and his government still have a long way to go before reaching anything that looks recognizable as a stable entity.
But today's inauguration is a start, at least.