WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Rev. Jesse Jackson will travel to Kenya and Zambia on behalf of President Clinton starting Saturday to promote democracy in the two countries.

It will be Jackson's first overseas mission since his appointment last month as Clinton's special envoy for encouraging democratic development in Africa. His trip will last about a week.

National elections are scheduled to be held in December in Kenya, where President Daniel arap Moi is seeking a fifth five-year term.

In Zambia, the elected government of President Frederick Chiluba was shaken by a coup attempt in October by junior Army officers.

In a telephone interview from Chicago, Jackson said African prosperity depends on development of democratic institutions.

``I've been asked to try to expand democracy because democracy and human rights and a free press are predicates on which you can build economic investment,'' he said.

He said it was not his intention to meddle in the internal affairs of Kenya and Zambia but to encourage development of democratic institutions. He will meet with government and opposition leaders in both countries.

Jackson called Africa ``a continent of great resources for the next century.'' But he said these resources may not be developed unless democracy flourishes.

His trip precedes by a week an African tour by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She will visit Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe

Clinton is expected to visit Africa next year.