The word Ivoirité (sometimes translated into English as Ivoirity) was first used by Henri Konan Bédié in 1995. It initially referred to the common cultural identity of all those living in Côte d'Ivoire, especially foreigners in Ivory Coast (who represent one third of the population).
However, nationalist and xenophobic ideas fanned by politics and the press changed it to mean population from the South and East of the country. Before the 1995 and the 2000 elections, a law quickly drafted by the president Henri Konan Bédié and upheld by the Supreme Court required both parents of a presidential candidate to be born within Côte d'Ivoire. This led to the disqualification of the northern presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara, which claimed to represent the predominantly Muslim north, often poor immigrant workers from Mali and Burkina Faso working on coffee and cocoa plantations. Alassane Ouattara, an économist which worked for the IMF, was the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire under the President Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
This word is associated with the current civil war in Côte d'Ivoire.